The Anchor Debacle of 2007

I recently stumbled across this short piece I wrote over five years ago for the Burnside Writers Collective Blog about a heated mini golf battle I had with my wife Erica. Thought it was fun enough to share again, so I spruced it up a bit. Enjoy.

Who puts an anchor on a golf course?

It doesn’t matter that the course in question is a mini golf course. Just because it’s a smaller version of a golf course doesn’t mean they needed to add props.

Do they put windmills on the first base line in tee-ball games? No.

Is there a plastic grizzly bear on the 50-yard line of Pop Warner football games? Nope.

Do youth soccer leagues install ramps and tunnels outside of the goalie boxes? Of course not. (Though that might actually be a lot of fun.)

But there it was, on the 12th hole of the Water’s Edge Miniature Golf Course in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania. A huge freaking anchor, and my yellow ball was wedged right under it. It took me 2 shots just to get out from under the thing!

At the time I had a 3-stroke lead over my lovely wife Erica, and I was well on my way to extending my streak of mini golf domination to 150 straight wins (give or take 145). But as her short par putt dropped, the roar from the gallery confirmed what I already knew. This just got real.

Still flustered by the anchor debacle, I approached the fabled 16th hole (think the 17th at Sawgrass only more famous) with the same number on my scorecard as Erica. That’s when it really fell apart.¬†Unable to hit the ball through the barrel of one of three cannons (CANNONS!?!) blocking the entrance to the flagstick, I suddenly found myself trailing by three shots with just two holes left.

On Hole 17, still flustered by my inability to maneuver a little ball through centuries-old wartime weaponry, I lost another shot, increasing my deficit to four strokes as we headed to the final hole.

I was down but not out, and as I thought back to all of the historic collapses in golf I realized I still had a chance. Jean Van De Velde’s triple-bogey at Carnoustie in 1999. Greg Norman’s disappearing six stroke lead on Sunday at the ’96 Masters. Maybe this wasn’t over yet!

But it was. Oh yes, it was.

As it turns out, the 18th hole at Water’s Edge is the “Hit it into the clown’s mouth so we can get our balls back” hole.

Wait, what?

I was planning a 4-shot comeback on this hole! I was going to hurl taunts and insults at my wife just like the late Earl Woods used to do to his son Tiger when he was a wee lad of six. I was going to win by sinking an ace and insulting her into a quadruple bogey.

The clown’s mouth is supposed to be AFTER you’ve played 18, not a part of it!

I was incredulous. Erica just laughed.

Four strokes. She beat me by four strokes.

Before the round began, I told her that if she beat me I would let everyone know about it in a blog entry. Great idea, Bry!

Hey, how was I supposed to know the course would be littered with old maritime relics? Next time maybe I’ll bring a bayonet and a periscope and I’ll actually have a chance to win.

An anchor. A freaking anchor. Geesh.

Congrats honey, nice win…I guess.