The Day The Sunset Waited
Fri, 29 Jan 2016
The Day the Sunset Waited
We were playing golf, at the Spring Run Golf Complex in Estero Florida, with friends, Joe & Phyllis Schneider, from Milwaukee Wisconsin. The computer assigned tee time was a later one at 2:10 P.M. In that the daylight in late January runs out by 6:00 P.M. in Florida, we didn’t have much hope of finishing the round.
The entire day before us was filled with women’s golf leagues. At this time of year, everyone wants to be out on the links. Given the large numbers, tee times were running slow all day. I saw the course Ranger, Ed Snyder, and with tongue in cheek importuned him to see if he could arrange for a later time for the setting sun, so that we could finish our round. Nothing ever fazes this venerable soul. He had seen everything in his many years as a golf course Ranger. He just smiled and said he would “see what he could do.”
We started off the round with high hopes, enjoying the 80-degree warmth of a late winter’s day. The balls rolled smoothly and the putts dropped properly for us on this magical afternoon in a land of natural beauty without equal.
The groups ahead of us were slow, so when we made the turn at the ninth hole, it was already 4:30 P.M. The cloudy sky made it look even later. Still, we pushed on. Several groups of golfers had only been playing nine holes, so it looked like we could speed things up.
We hit the ball, raced forward, made our approach shots and dropped putts with a wild abandon known as speed golf. The adrenaline was pumping and our hearts racing as we glided up and down the back nine fairways like polo players advancing the balls at breakneck speed on chariots of fire.
After each hole, we looked at our watches and glanced anxiously at the sky. “Is there still time left do you think?,” we wondered. “No time left for thinking” was the reply. “Let’s rock and roll.” The twosome in front of us must have thought that we were lunatics, as we raced up behind them at every hole. How can a foursome out run a twosome, they must have wondered?
The 17th hole is a long par three over water. Each of us dutifully hit the ball onto the green. We raced up to complete the hole. Believe it or not the weak light of the dying day was still holding up for us as we approached the 18th tee. Old Ed Snyder must have some powerful magic in his cart to keep the sun from setting for this long on a winter’s day.
We sped up the 18th fairway as the light finally eclipsed. To cap off the wild ride, I dropped a forty-foot putt for par, to the cheers of Peter Sadler who lives on that hole and had been watching four lunatics play in near total darkness.
We returned our carts and clubs to the cart barn and settled in for a few beers and pizza at Joe’ & Phyllis’s place. Now, we had another golf story to add to our collection. The day that Ed Snyder, Course Ranger, had kept the sun from setting, to light the way for us on a lightning dash of speed golf around the course.
Like every situation in life, sometimes, it helps to know the right people.
Joseph Xavier Martin