Golf Course Intelligence

I went off early to the golf course this morning. I talked Wade in
the pro shop after I was done. I told him that I’d been concerned
about the course with all of the runoff and high water. He told me an
interesting story.

The background:
The American Fork River (which would be called a creek, where I come
from) is channelled through American Fork, and through the length of
our Tri-Cities golf course. The spring runoff has been very high,
and two weeks ago I could see that the river was within 18 inches of
overflowing its banks along the 15th fairway. In fact a small
section of riverbank did erode and cave in, but did not amount to much
damage to the course. For a stretch of about 500 yards, the river is
channelled through a 6-foot culvert under the 10th, 1st, and 5th
fairways. My concern has been that debries, a fallen tree, or
whatever might get lodged in that culvert and the damming would wash
out some of the course. And two weeks ago the situation was obviously
critical because that culvert was running with a tremendous force of
water at a level above its midpoint.

It isn’t alway so. Typically, in the summer the stream is diverted to
irrigation canals, and the river bed is dry. Just to the north of the
tenth fairway at the inlet to the culvert the river widens out and a
cart path goes down through the riverbed for a shortcut back to the
club house. Not now! That cart path is under 2 to 3 feet of fast
flowing river.

Wade told me this surprising tale. About two weeks ago, while the
river was at its highest, a kid driving a golf cart, who obviously had
less than normal intelligence, thought that he’d drive the cart
through the river, crossing just north of the culvert inlet. The
good news is that both the kid and the golf course survived. The
golfcart fared somewhat worse.

As the story was told when the cart got too deep into the river, the
front was grabbed by the force of the water and sent toward the
culvert. At that point a bit of intelligence appeared to surface in
the driver, as he jumped from the cart and into the river. The cart
proceeded into the culvert where its roof was ripped off.
Miraculously, the cart was propelled the entire length of the culvert
without becoming lodged. The battered cart was extracted from the
river south of the fifth fairway by the golf course’s largest tractor
and a hefty chain.

I’d bet the cart driver won’t be trying to ford rivers with a golf
cart a second time.

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