It’s been a sports-eventful summer for this normally-sedentary TV addict. My nephew Trey’s early bachelor party last month entailed 18 holes of Cody golf followed by a “cornhole” tournament. (Google it; the sport is sweeping the nation.) I’ve also recently gotten back together with my teenage love, bowling. After my all-time high of 227 weeks ago, my love has increased 10-fold.
Also last month, my nephews Jay and Trey, Ned Flanders lookalike Lincoln Reese and I traveled to Powell for another 18 holes. Walking to the clubhouse, I prayed silently, “Please don’t let anyone be in there that remembers the ‘litterbox shoes.’”
It was probably fifteen years ago when nephews Rusty, Jay, and old pal Greg Stenlund picked me up for a planned Powell golf outing. My clubs and golf shoes had languished for a year in the basement, and upon arriving outside with them, Greg shrieked with a pained grimace, “Ugh! What is that smell?”
Well, I had five cats at the time — their numerous litter boxes sharing the basement with my golf gear. We quickly fingered the shoes as the offensive culprit, apparently the victim of repeated, misplaced secretions. I used a rough rag under my outdoor faucet to eliminate the problem.
In Powell, I grabbed my clubs and shoes from Jay’s truck bed and we strolled merrily into the clubhouse. Heads began swiveling from all around the crowded room, including those of my irritated cohorts. To our collective horror, the water had somehow magnified the acidic odor, rendering my shoes as offensive as any landfill dead animal pit. I swiftly rushed outside, leaving my crew to face the bitter music.
Mercifully, I didn’t recognize any faces last month and those same shoes have long-since aired out. We found the course well-groomed and also found a nattily attired Toby Bonner teeing off on one of the holes. Impressed with his orange Broncos shirt and matching socks, I told a hideously-adorned Ned, “Take note of how his socks actually match his outfit.”
A reasonably skilled golfer might describe Powell Golf Club’s course as, “Infinitely interesting and coquettishly challenging. In a word: fun.” A twice-a-summer, wild-swinging duffer with diminished strength like myself — a man who will never land under 100 — might rephrase it to, “It’s like helicopters randomly dropped greens into the middle of the wilderness and said, ‘Wherever they land, we plant a flag.’”
It takes a man with a lot of balls (Titleist-type, I mean) to navigate the green-concealing doglegs and sadistic out-of-bounds terrain. Par 3 hole No. 4, for instance, necessitates a drive from atop a cliff over a rocky, cactus-strewn expanse onto a diminutive green 150 yards below, not far removed from sagebrush, water and, quite possibly, deadly coral snakes.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a blast and we shall return, but while not a sports consultant, I offer these suggestions to increase revenue. First off, a new, catchy name. “Powell Golf Club” makes its point, but lacks imaginative flair. Cody’s course, “Olive Glenn” is named after a prominent local family. With a brother, nephew, niece and all their many offspring residing in Powell. I wouldn’t be offended if “Blough My Lousy World Country Club” might be considered.
To further entice dysfunctional hackers like myself, two words: BEER CART! It’s certainly true that one needn’t drink alcohol to have a good time, but some things just naturally go together. Four adult men golfing long hours under a hot sun just cries out for the quaffing of an occasional cold one. Human nature making one want what one can’t have, Lincoln’s errant promise of a beer cart turned our casual thirst into an unbearable obsession. When we finally hit the clubhouse between the front and back nines, we naturally overcompensated by overbuying. That’s a bit pricey.
That would never happen at a Blough My Lousy World Country Club. Not only would there be a beer cart, but a hot dog cart and an attractive, roving cigarette girl. (“Cigars, cigarettes, angioplasty?”)
It’s not my intention to nitpick, but as I’ve learned with Top Ramen, a good thing can always be made even better. In a future column, I may offer similar marketing tips for your Classic Lanes bowling alley. First though, I must get over there to research the lane favorability. Should I break my 227, you may be looking at one red-hot, glowing review.