It’s been 15 months since I made one of the most insanely idiotic and dangerous decisions of my life. I’ve only told this story a few times to close friends but recently had pictures I took from that dreaded day pop up on my iMac’s Photos App which led me to reliving it one more time.
We live in Michigan. Cold half the year. Warm half the year. With bits of hoodie and shorts weather the other times. It’s important to take advantage of those warm months.
But I ended up in Florida in July last year because I did not speak up when it was proposed we go down to see Andrea’s brothers family in Indialantic, Florida along with her other brothers family who still lives in Michigan.
I won’t go into all of it but a few weeks after it was mentioned she pulled out the Delta SkyMiles credit card and said she was buying the plane tickets to Florida. I might have said something like “What?”.
Basically, an entire weeks long trip had been planned in the previous weeks and I was going. Along with our nearly 2 and nearly 3 year olds. Who had never been on a plane yet.
“Fine. Fine. I’ll go to Florida and sweat my balls off. Fine. But I get to go golfing once.” Those were my only demands. And she agreed.
As we drove our rental car from the Orlando airport, to Melbourne, over the causeway bridge, through Indialantic, and towards our rental house in southern Melbourne Beach we passed a golf course two miles from the house we rented with her brothers family. “That’ll do”.
We get settled in the first two days and start sweating our balls off. Correction. Balls began sweating the quarter second it took me to step from the air conditioned airplane to the air conditioned jet bridge.
Pool water was 85 degrees. Had a beach day where the sand was so hot you couldn’t step on it. Thankfully a canopy was brought. Ok. I’ve been a team player. Its me time. I’m going golfing.
Its Golf Time
I pulled up my GolfNow app the night before and searched for the golf course we passed on the drive in. What popped up was Spessard Holland.
They didn’t have any Hot Deals and since I needed rental clubs I decided to call when I woke up knowing I’d have to get out early to beat the heat.
And that’s what I did by 8 am the next morning. Got a tee time for 9am with cart and had to pay a few extra bucks for clubs. Ten minutes prior to me leaving Andrea told me her brother (the one who lives in Florida) wanted to play. Told him to meet me there at 9 which he did. We had never golfed together before and he plays maybe once a year.
Furthering my idiocracy I did not bring any golf balls. Stupid me. And for some reason I decided to buy a dozen recycled Titleist Pro V1’s (which sucked). Didn’t want to spend big money on real ones and I didn’t want to buy the cheap Bridgestone’s (should of) the pro shop had available.
Took a brief look at the course before heading into the pro shop and saw water everywhere. Mostly small ponds and creeks. But just about every hole had water. Since I’ve never played there before I was probably going to find a water hazard or two or three during the round.
And most importantly with it being Florida there were probably gators in every one of them. So I’m not going near those ponds trying to fish out a golf ball.
Holy Sweat Box
It became apparent on the putting green it was going to be the hottest round of golf I’ve ever played. For some dumb reason the only golf shirt I packed was my wanna be Tiger Woods red Nike Dri-Fit when I should have packed a white one. You think I’d know better at the age of 37 that dark colors are not the best to wear when the sun is blazing like 400 degrees.
Weather at 9am was 84 degrees with 76% humidity. Barely a breeze from the ocean. By the end of our round the temperature hit 91 degrees with humidity at 57%. Basically miserable.
The thought of “I should not be out here” hit me before we even teed off. And the 2 liter Sunkist bottle I filled with water the night before, put in the freezer, and was still a block of ice when I pulled into the parking lot was now all water. It had been in the golf cart for 10 minutes.
On The Tee From Huntington Woods, MI
Is what nobody said as I looked down the first fairway. And for good reason. There were no other ass hats out there golfing. The course was basically to ourselves. I wonder why?
My tee shot on the first hole was a harbinger for how the round was to go. As I made my down swing I could feel my hand start to slip off the grip resulting in me slicing way right and almost losing the club on the follow through. Ridiculous.
Thankfully I brought my golf glove which helped a little but I really needed two. And by the end of the 4th hole the glove was soaked. I needed a backup which I did not have.
By the 7th hole I had to ditch the golf glove as my hand was swimming in it. Thankfully the rental clubs came with a towel on the bag which I had to use before every shot. Again, ridiculous.
I squeezed the club so fricking hard on every shot after that. Outside of obvious reasons I really didn’t want to see a 6 iron fly from my hands and into one of those gator infested ponds (I didn’t see a gator. But its the gator you don’t see that gets you) and then have to pay for it.
Making The Turn
We went inside to take a quick break from the heat and for me to fill up on some water. As I stood in the pro shops air conditioning I started to think things like:
- “Don’t go back out there Brad.”
- “What are the signs of heat stroke?”
- “Its just golf you big dummy.”
Up to this point in my life I’ve played golf in 38 degrees weather where there is a dusting of snow on the fairways and greens (that happens in Michigan), the occasional passing thunderstorm, rain and 44 degrees, and temps so frigid that you have to wear Under Armour and bring your own portable golf cart cover to block the wind.
I didn’t quit during those rounds so I’m sure as hell not quitting now.
So I filled up my 2 liter with water and headed out to the 10th tee. That’s right, I drank an entire 2 liter of water on the front nine.
As I sat there waiting for Chris to come out of the clubhouse I see he bought a Coke. What a fucking savage. I’m dying over here and he buys something that will dehydrate you even more. You haven’t been living in Florida that long broseph.
After he jumps in the cart and I explain to him he is a savage for buying the Coke I tell him the goal for the back nine is to not die.
To do that there will be no practice swings and no club changes. Thought the pitching wedge was the club for the shot but realized you needed a hybrid to punch it out? Too bad. No going back to the cart. You use the fucking pitching wedge.
This worked so well as we cruised through holes. It helped that no one was on the course either. And when we caught up to a threesome which included a Father and his seven year old son with another guy I politely asked them if we could play through because I was dying from the heat. They laughed and let us through.
Drama On 18
Of course we would catch up to a foursome on the last hole whom was moving very slow. And to make matters worse it was a drivable 258 yard Par 4.
These people were in the fairway some 100 yards out from the green when we rolled up to the tee box. Six minutes went by before they were all on the green.
I’m standing on the tee box thinking I could possibly hit them on the green. Since the fairway went to the left and back to the green it made the hole shorter if you went as the crow flies. I’m guessing to clear the front bunker and hit the green you’d have to carry the tee shot 240 yards. Which is doable for me.
So I waited. Dripping in sweat. I haven’t had a good drive all day with these rental clubs but I don’t want to chance it, connect on one, and hit these people. Chris decided to tee off and hit a palm tree 200 yards down the fairway.
These people are still on the green. I couldn’t take it any longer.
Of course I’d save my best drive for the last hole. I caught it perfectly and as I turned through my follow through I saw it heading right for the green. Oh Shit!!
Chris is saying “You might him them” and I’m all like “No shit.”
As the golf ball is making its descent from the clouds it disappears from sight. Chris and I look at each other like what happened.
No one on the green turned to look back at us while extending their middle fingers.
It can only be assumed I did not hit anyone but none of them even flinched as the golf ball must have landed somewhere near by.
As we drove up to Chris’s ball they finally left the green. We could not see my ball yet. He played his shot near the green and we drove up.
There was my ball in the bunker. With a line in the sand from it falling back into the bunker. I cleared the bunker by 2 feet but it hit the downslope on the grass, hopped straight up, hit the slope again, and rolled back into the bunker. Six more inches and its on the green.
I still don’t know how they didn’t flinch as it landed no more than ten feet from where they were standing. It must have made a sound.
Anyways, your boy got up and down for par.
Turned my clubs in. Confirmed dinner plans with Chris and our families for later on and darted to my rental car. Made it back to our rental house before the A/C really even kicked in. I was so glad to be back at the house.
A full body detox is the best way to describe what happened out there. And all of it stuck to my shirt and shorts. In all of my years on Earth I cannot remember a time where my clothes stank like that. It was gross.
I filled up my 2 liter for the 3rd time and sat on the couch for two hours. Thats how long it took me to get back to feeling like a human being again. I was so over-heated and drained.
Good thing Spessard Holland was a short course. Any longer and I think I would have stopped at the turn. It’s too bad because I liked the course. It’s a really good practice course.
Par was 67 and there was only one Par 5. Par 4’s are just long enough where you can hit driver but it also forces you to hit a lot of irons and wedges. Which is where the better players distance themselves. There was water on 10 holes with thick vegetation off the fairway. And with it being short you could probably play in less than 4 hours even when its busy.
I shot an 88 with 5 penalty strokes. Seeing how I felt like death the entire round, played with recycled ProV1’s, rental clubs, and dealt with my hand slipping on every shot I’d say I played ok. Chris shot a 99.
Two weeks prior to me posting this we went to Florida without our kids to see Chris and his family again. October in Florida is way better than July. I brought some golf balls and two golf gloves on the trip with the thought of tackling Spessard Holland when its not death outside. But I didn’t make it out there. Actually enjoyed the beach and did other Florida type things like an air boat ride.
I don’t know how people live in Florida in the summer months. Give me the gray Michigan winters over the heat anytime. At 38 years old I now hate Michigan winters. That’s how bad the sun, heat, and humidity made me feel down there.
I will tell you this.
I will never visit Florida in July ever again. If you see me there it’s because I was forced by gun point.