Golf

Creativity helps cure weather delay induced boredom

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 20, 2018 10:10 am Updated: Jun. 20, 2018 10:32 am

Every minute or two, another parent rolled out of the side door to the Westview Golf Course clubhouse, walked 10 or so steps to the southeast corner of the building and sized up the storm clouds rolling past.

Every now and then, one of the golfers trotted to the parking lot and cast a long gaze at the darkening skies.

Every single one of them sighed and headed back inside.

The weather was winning the day.

About 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, with players in three divisions of the 45th annual Pepsi Little People's Golf Championships still on the course, lightning crackled. Officials immediately sounded the horn and cleared the course. Rain wasn't falling, and the sun was popping through breaks in the clouds a couple miles north of Westview, but safety regulations dictate any lightning striking within an 8-mile radius of the course is cause for an immediate delay.

The delay lasted two hours this time.

"Make it end," one golfer said after grabbing a charging cord from his parents' vehicle.

Finding ways to pass the time became the biggest challenge.

Ian Stacy, a golfer from Valparaiso, Ind., competing in the boys 10-11 division was asked what he and his dad were doing to pass the time.

"I don't know," Ian said as he shrugged.

The Stacys had ventured out into the rain to gander at the early scores posted on the scoreboard. Course officials stapled plastic over the scoresheets to preserve their integrity, and a number of players and parents holding golf umbrellas ducked out from under the trees to check the scores.

Inside the clubhouse, golfers mostly played on their smartphones, eating up the wifi bandwidth event organizers were using to update social media. It sent event organizers to the parking lot in hopes of getting better cell service to connect to Twitter and Facebook.

Some golfers took advantage of the mid-afternoon lull to leave the course for various reasons. Some ran to nearby convenience stores or fast food restaurants to pick up snacks and beverages. One went with his parents to size up lots for the house they hope to have built soon.

"My dad was like, ‘Let's go check out lots,'" Quincy Notre Dame sophomore Alex McCulla said. "It was something to get my mind off the delay. It was a good time passer."

That ate up the first hour. During the second hour, McCulla sat in Reis Dreyer's truck and broke things down with QND teammates Gavin Frese and Jack Leffers.

"It was a good time," McCulla said.

Others got creative. Two golfers stood in front of the clubhouse and practiced juggling a golf ball with a pitching wedge. One spent the entire first hour with an iron in his hands practicing his swing. Two others putted a ball back and forth on the sidewalk.

Finally, shortly before 5:30 p.m., Westview director of golf David Morgan summoned everyone to the area between the clubhouse and the first tee. He was ready to turn them loose.

Play resumed. Boredom dissipated. All rounds were finished.

It took longer than anticipated, but should that have bothered anyone?

A day at the golf course is a good day no matter what, right?