Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Estes Boys on the Back Nine

Picking up the clubs where we left off the other day, we stroll out onto the tenth tee box for the Estes House Open. Hope you have a good caddy and have been working on your short game, cuz the back nine is where the course really gets challenging.

Hole #10: We start off the second half of our round with a challenging shot requiring accuracy and loft. The tenth hole used to be the gas meter on the side of the house, but Matt missed and broke the window going into Nick's bedroom, so the hole became the hole in the window. Nick patched the hole with a small piece of cardboard,but if you hit the chunk o' box just right it flips up and the ball sneaks through. Hit the ball wrong and we've got another window pane to pay for and Nick will wake up with glass in his bed. Again. Bonus points if you manage to land the ball inside anything weird, like a shoe, a glass of water, whatever it was Nick was drinking last night before he passed out. Jeff once got three bonus points for landing his ball in a taco Nick was about to eat.

Hole #11: This hole takes patience and care, because you have to chip out of Nick's room, putt across the dining room and down the hall, and drive it out the front door towards the volleyball net. (At some point in time Jeff and his ex set a Wal-Mart volleyball net up in far corner of the front yard. We don't know why.) Hole 11, a par seven, required putting the golf ball through one of the little squares in the net. If you hit a string and make the net vibrate, minus one point. A difficult hole because of the different turfs you're working with: Nick's bed, carpet, tile, cement, and grass, also tough because of the shrubbery dividing our yard and the neighbor's.

Hole #12: If you avoided the bushes on Hole 11 you're probably set up nice for Hole 12, otherwise you're in a world of hurt, because they're seven foot tall thorny bushes, and if you bleed you loose two strokes. If you finished up safely on the volleyball court it's simple, fifty feet to the mailbox. Our mailbox was cemented into a big green bucket that served as the hole, however, you could take a risk and go for the inside of the mailbox itself for two bonus strokes.

Hole #13: Now we take a 180 and head back towards the house. Please avoid the cars in our three hundred foot long - twenty five foot wide gravel driveway and get the ball into the garage. This par three calls for putting on oily cement skills, because once in the garage, your goal is to hit the ball under the dresser in the back corner, have it hit the concrete wall back there, and shoot back out. The further you pop the ball back out the better you're set up for 14, but if you go too far you'll be stuck in the eight foot pile of trash we were to lazy to take to the curb. I suggest breath holding.

Hole #14: Another 180 and out towards the street. In fact, Hole 14 is the street. Anywhere on it, any part. If you didn't set yourself up well after 13, you may get a bad angle and your ball will wind up skipping down Estes Drive, but if you have a straight shot, you can probably bounce it off the gravel driveway, into the street, and safely into the yard across the way. With no sidewalks in our neighborhood, there are drainage ditches on both sides of the road that make for some especially nasty water hazards. If the water is under two feet deep, there is no dropping, you have to hit it out.

Hole #15: We'd usually start in the neighbor's yard across the street, but an unlucky bounce or fifty had Matt a block and a half away in a church parking lot once. The "hole" here is a pile of head sized rocks that may or may not have been some sort of house pet burial ground in the middle of our front yard. The challenge here was not to hit the pile of stones, but to have the ball land and stay in there, not easy considering the density, trajectory, and other sciency words like bounciness.

Hole #16: Avoid the trees, sneak around the front corner of the house, and drop the ball into the bed of Matt's pick-up. Surprisingly, it was Matt who designed this particular hole. He must have figured a few dings and scratches would just blend into the dumpyness of that piece of junk, there was never any damage done to the car. However, Mark learned real quick to stop parking his Camero near Matt's truck.

Hole #17: Hole seventeen was a veritable free-for-all. Experienced Estes-golfers would scatter as soon as the sixteenth hole was finished. If Mark was playing, the rest of us would hide behind his car, because the "hole" in Hole 17 was your opponents. Yes, you actually had to strike one of the other golfers with your ball. This hole was fun even though I have some scars and my right ear still isn't quite right.

Hole #18: The classic ball in the clown's mouth kinda hole. Your goal here was to get the ball onto the roof of the house, into the rain gutter, and out the downspout. The day this hole was designed was the only time any one has ever wanted to clean out their gutters. Surprisingly, we got them done quickly and only two of us fell off the roof.

So, you've just completed your first round of Estes Golf, a true gentleman's game if there ever was one. Stick around and maybe someday you'll hear about the rest of the Esteslympics. Really, they were good, competive sporting events, and as a bonus, there was a lighting of the torch for the ages.

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