The Shotgun Shank at Terra Lago

Tara Lago North and South

Terra Lago North and South

One of the oddest couples I’ve met on a golf course was at on the North Course of Terra Lago, in Indio, California in December of 2012.  It can get cold there in the Coachella Valley at night in wintertime, and when we got to the course, Terra Lago was feeling the chill.

The Pro Shop had issued a frost delay and no one was allowed on the course until it had been lifted. While waiting, and waiting and waiting for the sun to come out and burn that nasty frost away, the boys in the Pro Shop had to figure out what to do with all the golfers that had signed in and were waiting to play, with all their now-delayed tee times.

To fit everyone in, they decided to make it a shotgun start, which would take place one hour after the frost was gone.

When the sun came out, it was toasty warm – warm enough to be wearing shorts and a tee shirt.  My friend and I were sent to the 6th hole for the shotgun start, where we were paired up with two women.  The thing was, neither of these women were dressed like golfers. Both were dressed like they were heading through a full-blown snowstorm in northern Saskatchewan!  They wore heavy scarves on their heads and around their necks, they wore bowler-style hats on top of the scarves, full-length winter coats, and woollen pants with running shoes.

My friend and I hit good, long tee shots and we returned to our cart while the first woman got up on the tee. It took quite a few swings and misses later, until she finally hit the ball – about 15 feet.  Then she went to where the ball was, picked it up, went back to the tee box, re-teed her ball, then tried to hit it again.

When she finally hit it again, it didn’t go that much further – maybe 30 feet.  Now it’s time for the other woman to tee off, but she’s busy, fumbling in her bag for a couple of minutes more, before she finally gets on the tee.

The second woman is just like the first. She swings and swings, has more tries and misses and then finally she hits the ball – about 40 feet.

I drive our cart down the fairway, and parked it across from the 30 foot ball. Would you believe, the woman swings and misses again and finally shanks the ball and it lands under our cart!  I knew this was more than hilarious and I knew that if I didn’t do something, and quick, I was going to laugh out loud!

We knew that the course was being held up with this slow play so I told them we had to go on ahead, and they could play as a twosome. We hurried to the green and putted and were quickly off to the 7th tee box.

It was their first time on a golf course. Both of these women had just retired from school teaching and decided the day before that they should take up golfing, and what better place to start than Terra Lago!

I hope they went for lessons.


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