As Monday loomed on the horizon this past weekend it looked to be a bad one. I would be leaving California (after 5+ days of boozy good times in 85 degree weather) at 10:40 PM PST (Sunday) and arriving at JFK @ 7:15 AM EST (Monday), knowing that I can't sleep on planes (despite taking Ambien furnished by a friends mom), followed by rush hour traffic into NYC and a ChinaTown bus ride back into Philly, which got me home at high noon with about 1.5 hours of sleep to my name. So what was my move at such an exhausted moment? Play golf of course.
I headed over to Walnut Lane Golf Course (the challenging par 3 5th pictured to the right) knowing that their 16$ greens fees (Walking, After 2 PM, weekdays) would be just what the doctor ordered. I was not disappointed.
As I walked into the clubhouse and began to pay for my greens fee, I noticed a group of four older gentlemen (the only other people in the "newly renovated" space other than the cashier and myself) sitting at a plastic table with beers (2PM = EARLY afternoon drinking). Hearing them carry on about some 'little shits [who] probably don't even live on Martin St.' followed by some serious guffaws, I dismissed them as silly old drunks. However, at the suggestion of the cashier, I turned to see that one of the men was none other than John Chaney. As I admired his camo Phillies hat and Temple windbreaker (circa 1999) the cashier told me that the legendary coach has made Walnut Lane his 'retirement home', coming by almost every day of the week (please read the article, especially the part about what they do after golf). Although I didn't engage Mr. Chaney as much as I would have liked to, I got out "Hey Coach, how's retirement?" to which he replied "not bad," before taking another sip of his beer and getting back to his conversation with fellow old heads. I couldn't hide my smile.
After hitting my tee shot to the 228 yard par 3 4th (pictured), I chipped onto the green only to discover exactly what Chaney and Co. had been discussing. In white spray paint, some hooligans had drawn a 6 foot tall cartoon man with a matching 5ft veiny meatstick, ejaculating across the green, with the balls centered on the old hole location. They had included the message "Martin St. Vandals ft. G" and topped it off with "Fuck the 5th District," something that Chris H. will surely loathe to hear. Honestly it was quite a work of art (worthy of the penis drawings in Super Bad), it even made me chuckle, but the message was all wrong and the location unacceptable. I two putted for bogey and moved on.
I was flying around the course and playing decent golf as I finished up the 8th hole looking to finish up my front nine playing bogey golf (thats nine over par, I realize not exactly a lofty goal) when I was invited to play through the group in front of me, three guys, about 20-21 years of age, who looked liked they had come straight from class (glasses, buttondown shirts, jeans, not what real golfers wear). I teed off and as I walked by they asked "Want a beer" as they produced a lukewarm High Life tallboy, which I happily accepted and drank over the next couple holes. As I walked away I heard the familiar sound of a Bic lighter and the accompanied coughing that made me realize "Hey, these guys might not look like golfers, but they sure know how to play the game."
Along the rest of the way I shot a mediocre round, found a few balls in the rough, lost a few balls in various places, chased a gopher, saw a fox, pared a couple holes, triple bogeyed a couple holes, and finished the course in a brisk 2.5 hours. All in all, not a bad day for a Monday that could have otherwise been disastrous.
In other news the Flyers went up 2-1 in their series with the Caps following a 6-3 victory in Philadelphia highlighted by Mike Richards penalty shot through the 5 hole of Baby Huet to seal the deal in the third period. The game also saw the return of Darien Hatcher (who played well) from his broken leg and Patrick Thoresen who almost lost a testicle the other day. Scary Stuff. Yesterday the Sixers were totally siked out of a win over the Cavs by instant replay resulting in a difficult first round match up with Detroit. Think the NBA wanted to see 'Bron get homecourt?