Golf Carts Don’t Float, But Golf Tees Do – Who Knew?!
For a little while after my parents got divorced my father stayed in the general Santa Barbara, CA area. My sister, Chickenbone, and I would spend weekends and long summers with him where we would learn all kinds of grown-up things (much against my mother’s wishes) like playing poker, driving before we were even in our teens, and eating junk food all day long.
My father raised us very differently than my mother: My mother was a fairly strict and conservative parent who raised us on health food, while my father pretty much let us do absolutely anything we wanted. (See My First Brush With The Law for an example.)
And he would often help us cover up the crime.
We were too young to be legally left alone (not because we couldn’t take care of ourselves, but more likely we’d have burnt down the house). But my father liked playing golf, so he had to bring us along.
Just imagine two independent, but restrained-9-months-out-of-the year-then-suddenly-unleashed kids running amok on the golf course.
To keep us out of trouble my dad let us drive the golf cart around the general vicinity of the hole he was playing.
He was either very brave, or very desperate.
This was a rather pretty golf course with a little creek running through it. Like all golf courses, it had great little roads on which to drive the carts, and little wooden bridges that crossed over the waterways and connected the roads. This is awesome for two kids, 8 and 10 years old, who have no experience driving on real roads. We loved driving the golf cart all over. We felt a great sense of freedom. And I’m sure my dad appreciated not having to watch us while he played golf.
There was one sunny day in particular that all of us remember, although each a bit differently. To this day, my younger sister and I can’t recall who was driving. We each claim it was the other.
Since this is my blog and I’m telling the story, all you need to know is she was driving this time.
Zooming along in the golf cart, Chickenbone was behind the wheel and I was in the passenger seat. My dad’s clubs were in the back.
We were approaching the creek and one of those wooden bridges. These bridges didn’t have railing on the side because, as it was assumed, only an idiot would fall off into the shallow creek just below. As we neared the bridge I knew we were going too fast, and she was too close to the edge of the bridge on the passenger’s (MY) side. I yelled to her to slow down and turn the wheel away from the edge, but there was something wrong with the cart.
Just as the right front wheel started to go off the edge I yelled, “Get out! Get out!”
We both jumped from the golf cart and watched as – in that weird slooow moootion that happens to you at times like these – the cart drove up the little bridge and then went over the edge.
And right into the creek.
It landed on it’s side. It didn’t float. The golf tees, and a couple clubs, spilled out of my dad’s bag.
I can still clearly see the golf tees as they floated down the creek.
That’s when I learned golf carts don’t float, but golf tees do.
My father came right over. He fished his golf bag out of the creek, and questioned us for a moment. Doing the COMPLETE opposite my mom would have, my father gathered us up and we beat a hasty retreat out of the golf course.
We did not stop at the club house to say “Goodbye. Umm, sorry we wrecked your cart.”
He doesn’t recall them ever contacting him about the cart. All I can assume is there was some mistake with the paperwork, if there was any to begin with.
I bet they’re better about collecting the paperwork now.
I don’t remember the name of the golf course, nor would I post it here if I did.
I suspect they’re still looking for us. By the way, does anyone know the statute of limitations for destruction of a golf cart?
(UPDATE: My father says this was in Santa Barbara and not Carlsbad. I’ve made the correction.)