Bill Clinton stole my ball...

Posted on February 03, 2015

Tom A. recently played Indian wells Golf Resort in Indian Wells, California. Let's just say he had quite the experience while on the golf course. After his round, he filled out a golfer survey. It was too good not to share. So, with his permission, below is his story. Believe it or not, he's telling the truth!

Lori and I were in Indian Wells celebrating her 49th birthday this weekend. As we were teeing off we were informed that Bill Clinton and his entourage had just teed off in front of us and that there would possibly be a delay in our round of golf because of this. He was there for the Humana Challenge, which bore the name of his foundation. We spotted his group playing ahead from afar during the first 9 holes and were told that he was not going to play a full round. At the 10th tee, assuming their group had finished, I crushed a drive about 280 yards... Onto the adjacent fairway of hole number 11, which ran parallel to #10. As you who have played with me know, this is a normal occurrence. Lori and I drove our cart onto the 11th fairway to shag my poorly placed shot. As we entered the fairway we realized that Bill and his cast of secret service escorts and playing partners had NOT called it a day after 9 holes and had just teed off on number 11, putting Lori and I in the middle of THEIR fairway right in front of them. We respectfully pardoned ourselves and offered a lighthearted, "Mind if we play through?" (a la Bob Hope.) Their replies were surprisingly kind as they stopped dead to witness my next shot. I had about another 200 yards needed to get back onto our fairway and into a good spot to reach the green on my 3rd shot. I pulled out a 5 iron, fearing that anything else would result in a (another) humiliating shank and prepared to hit a save shot over the creek and back onto our fairway. As I addressed the ball Bill's cart crept up behind us and tension filled the air. Sensing this, I turned to him and said... "How are you doing guy?" to which he replied, "RRGGDDDD," in a growl while clenching his 10 inch stogey (unlit) between his teeth. I took a big deep breath and readdressed my ball, not realizing that, due to the newly assembled Presidential gallery that had formed, and the aforementioned tension... I had totally lost focus and was now aiming straight for THEIR green on #11! Sensing this, Lori, exercising proper etiquette, elected not to yell, "Tom!" in my back swing and aid in correcting my obvious oversight. Too late... I blasted the ball about 200 yards... Further down #11 fairway (Bill's hole). My belated epiphany was surreal, and like a punch in the gut. Having squandered the opportunity to impress the previous leader of the free world with a "Watsonesqee" recovery shot, I walked back to the cart, gave Lori a, "Why didn't you say something? " look... And humbly exited their fairway and back to where we belonged. Secret service said to Lori, as we passed, "Sorry, did we play up on you guys?" But as our direction of flight became clearer, I am sure they realized that it was a case of a harmless shank that had caused this interesting (entertaining?) interruption. We finished our hole, teed off on #11 and saw a ball that their group had left behind in the infamous fairway. It was not, as expected, my Costco bought Callaway HEX #2 with 3 red dots. It was Bill's ball, which he had obviously left behind as a token of appreciation for me not hitting him. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

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