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golf-accidentI never thought I’d become one of those people who sit around telling golf stories. Really, how old (and boring) do you have to be to start talking about the thrill of sinking a 30-foot putt, or landing a 190-yard drive in the middle of the fairway?

Have I got your attention? Probably not yet, but….

Here is the male version of my story, courtesy of my friend Joe:  “Some A-hole hit me with a ball while I was putting. I shrugged it off and sank the putt. I had $20 bucks riding on it.”

Proving that men are from Mars, and women from Venus, here is my very female, and accurate play by play story:

I was on the 16th green putting for a “bogey” (one over par) – and got hit– really hard– by a golf ball on the 16th hole.  Don’t worry, I’m fine.

I was super focused on my putt, when SLAM, I heard myself scream “OUCH” as I watched a golf ball drop from my left forearm to the ground. Aghast, I watched this curious circular piece of broken skin on my arm turn bright red, where the ball had struck, and to instantly swell. I looked across to the 11th hole from where this stray ball originated and couldn’t imagine how this was possible.

Two men appeared through the trees from another fairway both shouting, “OMG, are you OK, what can we do? I’m so, so sorry.” My first thought was, “Really? How could they have possibly hit me?” It didn’t make sense that the ball could have come at a right angle into my arm from another fairway which was almost out of sight.

My friend Debby and I hurried to our cart, determined to get to the clubhouse ASAP for the ice, and debated if I should go to the ER to check if I had broken something, as my forearm was doubling in size. Just as we were ready to go, the men were upon us at the cart. I looked over and there appeared a friendly familiar face.

“Oh, Felice, it’s you!  Are you ok?”

It was my friend Jason, a great guy with the sweetest smile ever.

“Jason,” I said with a smirk, “did you hit me?”

“No, no it wasn’t me, it was him,” and he pointed to his friend who was looking on with concern.

“I’m so sorry,” the friend said, “I shanked a ball, and can’t believe it hit you.”

“Listen,” I said, “I’ve got to get some ice on this arm,” not wanting to make full eye contact with his friend, the culprit, as he looked so guilty about his poorly hit shot.

“Jason,” I said, “since you’re a doctor, can you tell me if you think I may have broken something in my forearm.”

He laughed and said, “Hey, I’m a GYN, …sorry that’s not my area of expertise.”

“Pretend it’s a vagina then… is it broken?”

Jason laughed and retorted, “Well my first question would be, when was your last period?”

Touché, a little humor, a great laugh, and a perfect distraction to this ridiculous situation.

“Ok, I’m off for ice.”

“Wait”, Jason said, “I didn’t properly introduce you to my friend Rick.” Rick nodded and said he was so sorry, yet again, and looked upset. I wanted to make him feel better but I really needed to get some ice.

“No, no truly, I’m going to get ice and go to get an x-ray.”

And then Jason completed the intro – “Rick is a famous author, you know… Richard North Patterson.”

Only on Martha’s Vineyard I thought! A day at the public golf course, and I am meeting a hugely famous author who luckily didn’t knock out my eye or hit me in the head with his shank. I was feeling so lucky at that moment (NOT).

“Nice to meet you Rick,“ and off Debby and I went. I was not starstruck, just struck and that was all I could deal with. Debby and I headed to the Martha’s Vineyard ER which was totally empty as it was one week after Labor Day. And in just 45 minutes we were seen, x-rayed, and given an arm cast with instructions to rest my arm for two days.

I called my friend Jason to let him know I was fine and he and his wife invited me for tea the next day. As I walked into their lovely home he handed me a hard cover copy of Eden in Winter, the new book by his friend Richard North Patterson with an inscription which read:

“To Felice, I’d do anything to meet you, and did. Enjoy the book, I hope. Sheepishly, Richard North Patterson.”

I guess older men have trouble keeping track of their balls.

Stray Balls: A Golfer’s Worst Nightmare was last modified: by

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