Out Of Range

Man am I late to this funeral. My go-to driving range known as Majestic Golf Land on Melrose in East Hollywood is gone. Has been for more than 17 months apparently.

Hint: Not knowing about it for THAT long gives you a huge clue as to how little I’ve been golfing of late.

But I did pull my dust-covered and cobwebby clubs out of the basement a couple Fridays ago to go play a round at the Arroyo Seco Golf Course in South Pasadena with my friend Dave Bullock, and afterward when I didn’t throw the clubs immediately back into the basement in disgust I thought I might maybe just visit the nearby Majestic to go all hacktastic on a bucket’s full of dimpled devils.

Then, whilst biking home up Heliotrope Tuesday from Melrose, I glanced over my shoulder in direction of the range and found the protective netting was gone. Could they be remodeling? Or could the place have gone under?

Leave it to my friend Elson, to clue me in via this post in January 2011 at his Elsongeles blog:

Like many in the community, including LACC administration themselves, I had long anticipated the end of the 10-year lease, and the day had finally come, with the closure of the business towards the end of 2010.

As he states, Elson was one of many East Hollywoodians who had completely understandable issues with the monstrous range, and in his post he sheds no tears in announcing its closure. Me? I’m a little bit more saddened by the news because it was close to home and state-of-the-art as golf ranges go, but the statute of limitations on crying over its demise expired six months ago, so I’ll have to man up and just head up to the old-school Griffith Park range if I want to get my swang on.

But in memory of Majestic Golf Land, I offer this following multi-angle slow-mo video clip, of me making one of my better drives there back in 2008:

Trivulous & Frivial: A Tale Of Two Cards

Here in the city of anglez, membership has its privileges on all sorts of levels — one of them being preferred access to the variety of municipal pay tennis facilities (8) and golf courses (10). It doesn’t come free, of course. There’s an annual fee attached to each; $15 for swatters of the fuzzy ball and $25 for whackers of the dimpled one.

Nor does possession of the respective pieces of plastic grant you free passage onto those fields of play. It’s $8 an hour for tennis and a varying fee depending on what set of holes you want to play on. Basically all the cards do is allow the city to collect some personal information on you in exchange for being provided a member number with which to navigate through moderately clunky automated systems to schedule a court or a tee time, depending on availability.

Certainly walk-ups are welcome but without a reservation the risk of standing around and waiting is always a possibility.

Anyway, I had previously possessed both of these cards, but let my tennis one lapse when I decided to confine my on-court antics to the downtown YMCA’s rooftop courts. I failed to renew my golf one when I entered into that two-year period of not picking up my clubs (except to move them to the basement).

But after my round at Roosevelt last month with my friend Joseph Mailander, wherein I learned he’s also a player of tennis, I figured it was time to re-up to better enable and speed any future play dates. And now both have arrived, though sadly only after having to print out applications and employ stamps and envelopes and checks and photocopies of proof of residency like it’s 1995, not with the online ease one might otherwise expect to be the standard today.

PS. Speaking of archaic, someone with big enough golfballs in the Golf Division of the L.A Dept. of Recreation & Parks needs to march up to their boss who needs to march up to their boss and teach them two words: graphic artist. If there’s ever a card that needs some visual stimulation, it’s that one. And can somebody help that poor hunchbacked guy zip up his fly, dammit?

PSS. Yeah, you’re funny, but no the “D” on the golf card is not indicative — at least not intentionally — of the level of my game. It’s one of four rotating priority designations allowing early tee-time access on specific weekends throughout the year.

This Is Why I Hate: Golfers

So I golfed this morning with Joseph Mailander at the nine-hole Roosevelt  golf course in Griffith Park — one of my favorites. It was a beautiful day and it was great to see him and I was very much appreciative of his willingness to suffer my lack of skills given my golf this day was something of a “last chance” desperation round on a “grown-up” set of holes, prelude to the tournament I’ll be playing on a PGA championship-level course in Savannah on Wednesday.

When I finally put my last putt into the cup on the ninth’s green I ended with a 20 over-par 53. To put it in perspective I would have been ecstatic with a 50. So I was not unhappy.

Closest chance I had to birdying a hole was the par-3 7th (though I ended up fucking four-putting for a two-over 5).

Closest I came to killing somebody after someone could have been killed was the hole previous, a 310-yard downhill straightaway that for whatever reason is notorious for being slow, thus resulting in trailing golf gropus stacking up behind whoever’s playing. This was certainly true for us as the group ahead really dallied, bringing the foursome behind us up to collectively twiddle our thumbs until it was finally our turn.

When it was, our foursome (Joseph and I were joined with a very nice pair of Asian men — who had far greater skills than us, and thankfully enough patience to endure us bringing up the rear) each hit off the tee, and as is the case eventually wound up on the green, after not a particularly inordinate amount of time.

But apparently it was too much for one of the fuckers in the foursome behind us because just as one of the Asian men was lined up to putt, in comes a drive that smacks into the green and lands about 10 feet from the player about to putt, and about 20 feet from where I was standing beyond him.

Granted it was one hell of a shot. But even more granted was that it was a major golf no-no, violating all three of the major rules of Basic Fucking Golf Etiquette & Safety:

  1. Make sure no one gets hit by a ball, a club or a cart
  2. Wait until the players ahead of you are out of range before hitting.
  3. Yell “fore” loudly if your shot has a potential of hitting any other players.

As such it was too bad the assbasket had to do what he did instead of waiting the additional minute or two it would have taken us to finish and put the flag back and move on to the next hole. Because my reaction the moment the ball thudded into our immediate proximity was to bellow at the top of my motherfucking lungs something along the lines of “Oh hell no you didn’t!” or “That’s fucking bullshit!” and then tromp over to where the ball had stopped, pick it up and discard it as hard as I could out of play over the fence behind me.

I bellowed further rhetorical questions such as “what the fuck is that shit?” and “who the fuck kind of idiot are you?” and when the perpetrator raised his arms as if to say “well hurry the fuck up!” I replied with “don’t you dare make this about how we might not be playing fast enough to suit your idiotic ass!”

Since he didn’t come charging down the fairway to get a piece of me damn if I didn’t close the conversation with a compliment: “That was a great shot but don’t do that bullshit again!”

Our game continued on through the last three holes and from that point on the foursome kept well behind us from there on out.