Coping: A Most Unusual Golf Story

(Gig Harbor, WA) While the nature of UrbanSurvival is generally serious, we do (now and then) actually tear ourselves away from the computer long enough to have contact with the occasional human.

Such was the case Thursday when my friend, the retired Major-fellow who I’ve known for  60+ years and I decided we would hit the local driving range to hit a couple of buckets and then wolf Chinese food and talk about the ‘old days in the ‘hood; growing up.

The first indication that the day would be strange happened when I asked at the front desk where the drivers were to rent.

We don’t have drivers anymore.  People come in and ruin then in just a few days to a week.  So help yourself to all the irons you want, but no, sorry, no drivers.  You’ll have to bring your own…”

What the hell? 

A driving range with no drivers?

“Well, OK, where would I get a split-shot Americano tall?”

We don’t have coffee, sorry.

At this point, I should have realized that I’d flipped into an alternate Universe because EVERYONE has coffee in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

Oh, and every driving range is supposed to have drivers.  Otherwise, they’d be called iron ranges, would they not?

A warm-up swing, or two, and I was into it.  Borrowing the retired Major’s driver, and summoning that “muscle-memory” of mine, a quickly topped my first shot, sending it all of 50-feet out.

This was followed by a series of hooks, slices, and tops, that would have  been great B-roll for an old silent movie.

Meantime the retired Major stepped up to his plate (sounds better than mat, although that would be more accurate) – all the while insisting he hasn’t touched clubs in years, either.

“Hold it, Ure, something is going on here…”  The Little Voice In My Head (LViMH) was asking a question:  “How come if he doesn’t play, the grips on his clubs are all soft and comfy – like they’ve just come back from a pro shop?  Yours that haven’t been touched are all powdery and threaten to catch fire at any moment…but these are, well,  great…”

The r-Major’s third or fourth drive hit out past 200-yards, all the while he was telling me he hadn’t picked up sticks in years.

Say, where did that smooth back-stroke and fluid swing come from?  Hmmm…

I stood my matt, eyed the three-wood and decided to give it a try. 

After a slice, hook, ,slice, and finally one ball going out to 110 yards while making an odd spinning sound, my confidence was on the verge of returning.


I topped it.

But what the heck?  The ball bounced about 30-feet in front of us, then again at 50 feet…going like a bat out of hell, but low.  A stealth golf ball…

Then it happened!

On the odd 5th bounce, or so, it went into a hole!  The course has a hole on it, about 50-yards out, designed for people to sharpen up their sand wedge and pitching tools.

My ball went in!!!! Holy Mother of Pearl!!!

My first-ever hole in one. 

I looked – for a good moment – taking in the glow of that first hole-in-one…and then asked the retired Major “Did you see that, RJ? A  Hole in one!!!”

I looked over at his mat and he was face down teeing up a ball.  “Uh…no…you…uh…what?”

“What do you mean what?  I JUST HAD A FRIGGING HOLE IN ONE.”

Well, that’s good.”  And with that, he launched another out to the red flag at 200-yards with that smooth liquid swing…….

Thus ends today’s odd golf story.  The moral of which is what?

If you get sucked into playing this silly game, and do accidentally (or otherwise) get a hole-in-one, the sky will not part (the drizzle had continued through this), the people from Golf Digest will not be calling to see how you did it.

And if your luck is as good as Ure Luck, you best friend will be looking somewhere else at the moment your Personal Miracle Moment in Golf (PMMiG) shows up.

The saving grace to this is that now I know why drivers don’t last long enough at the “driving” range.

# # #

The Chinese food was good, but I had an upset stomach most of the night because I made the mistake of having pizza for dinner.  Pappy always warned me, as a boy, about eating foods from (nearly) opposite time zones.  Said it would cause indigestion….just like mixing the “grain and the grape” can have dire consequences.

Electric Airplane

You absolutely have to go read the article on the Experimental Aircraft Association website about a new electric airplane that has taken its maiden flight.

The plane will carry two people, climb at 1,000 feet per minute, has a one hour range with 30-minute reserves and can be charged in an hour, or so.

Meantime, an FAA announcement of possible interest:

On July 22, 2014, the FAA issued a Notice of Proposed Policy for the non-aeronautical use of airport hangars which clarifies compliance requirements for airport sponsors, airport managers, airport tenants, state aviation officials, and FAA compliance staff. To view the draft policy, go to The comment period will remain open until September 05, 2014.

People who fly the (fine) Van’s RV series of planes might want to comment, lest too many people be able to say “I’m going down to the airport to work on my RV…” and not mean a high-performance aircraft.

(Anything compared to our old Beechcrate is a high-performance aircraft…)

Skydiving Adventures

Son George II sent this along as one of the luckier skydiving vids you’ll see:

G II now has his “coach” rating as he works up through his jumps… somewhere around 165 jumps now.  Seems to be serious about getting his teaching creds.


Long-time NASCAR fan Don sent this in about a story a while back……


As I’m sure you’ve now been told a 100 times, there was NO death at a NASCAR race this weekend! It was a “sprint car” race where a young driver was hit. NASCAR hasn’t raced on dirt since the late 50’s except for the truck series the last 2 yrs at ironically, Tony Stewarts dirt track.

I’ve been going to NASCAR and Sprint car races since the 50’s and travelled the mid-west with my Grandson when he was an active driver in Sprint cars.

Don in NE OK

I sit corrected.

Holiday Schedule

Yes, there will be an UrbanSurvival column Monday – but maybe one part instead of two, markets being closed and all.

Have a great weekend and send in adventure reports…

Write when you break-even, too…