Every June after school lets out for the summer, our school district’s educational foundation teams up with the local park district foundation to sponsor a charity golf tournament. Every year I play in this tournament which equals the total number of times I play golf every year.
Why do I only play golf once a year? Simple. It is the hardest game ever invented. That dimpled little ball just sits on its cute little perch mocking me to give it a good smack, and no matter how hard I swing the club, the ball will not go where I want it to go.
This year, like I always do, I purchased some raffle tickets in support of the foundation. I never win raffles, but what the hell. It’s for the kids, right!
So I am sitting in the clubhouse after 18 grueling holes of swing and miss golf when they start the raffle. And, lo and behold, whose raffle ticket is pulled first? Yours truly, of course. I got all excited at the thought of a free dinner at the local Red Lobster. But no. What do I win? A one time chance to hit a hole in one for a million bucks! From only 175 yards! Piece of cake! What should I do first with all that money ($650,000 after taxes)?
Well, that may sound awesome to you, but to this duffer, all it meant was another opportunity to embarrass myself on the glorious links. Picture this, if you will: Little Dave standing in front of a teed up little white pea, with a crowd of colleagues, parents, and community members all cheering me on and hoping I will give it a jolly ride right into the center of the hole. Did I mention that they were videotaping this momentous event?
So there I am, doing my best Ralph Cramden “address the ball” shtick (am I dating myself?). My heart pounding through my striped golf shirt, my knees shaking, with three simple prayers running through my head “Please don’t let me whiff; please let the club head actually make contact; please let the ball rise up more than 10 feet off the ground.”
Well, I took my best swing with 1 million dollars on the line. And I am proud to say that the silly little ball jumped off that tee, rose up in the air, and flew a good 175 yards right into the …
…trees 40 yards to the left of the green. I was so proud of myself! I hit that ball like a real Tiger (well, not exactly, but a boy can dream, right?).
Anyway, I am not a millionaire, and I am not quitting my day job anytime soon. I might just get out on the links again this summer, however.
I finally won a raffle, and it was one that I could not win.