Greenback Harbor Country Club, 8:45 a.m. I am not a golfer. Which is exactly why Clay, Trey and Dave asked me to shoot a round with them this morning. Today I will be playing the role of the buffoon. The schmuck. And considering the raves I've received over the years for my portrayals of "Teen Goofball," "Bungling Lover" and "My Son, the Knucklehead," I feel confident I can bring the part to life.
9:00, 1st tee. I top my Titleist 6 badly off the tee and it dribbles forward about 8 yards, whereupon we all pile into the golf cart and drive out to the ball for my second shot.
9:13, 2nd hole. A 406-yard dogleg right with a water hazard. Par is 5. I shoot a Par2.
10:28, 3rd green. We're all finishing our third Bloody Mary. The rule today is we each have to drink one per hole. Clay boldly suggests one per stroke would have been more fun. I remind him I'm currently shooting 31 and that that particular rule change would make me dead by now. Clay seems to think my remark is supportive of his.
10:44, 4th tee. The foursome behind us asks to play through. Just looking at these elitist, exclusionary, leisure-class, good-old-boy-networked, cigar-sucking swine, I'm reminded of exactly why I find country clubs so despicable: Plaid pants.
10:57, 5th green. Tough break. Putting from the frog's hair for a "dodeca-bogie," I miss the cup by inches -- I'd guess about 480.
11:11, Off the 6th fairway. Looking for my ball in the trees, I spot a grazing deer. Careful to stay upwind and in the shadows, I creep silently closer. Finally, very close, I spring and beat it to a shuddering death with my five iron. Perhaps I'm more frustrated with this game than I realize.
11:25, 7th green. Feeling pretty darn loose, I launch into my Tiger Woods impression. This involves nothing so much as insisting that everybody call me "Tiger."
11:39, 8th tee. At this point, I've lost so many balls that Titleist has flown a representative out to introduce himself and present me with a proclamation from stockholders naming me their "Man of the Year."
11:52, 9th hole. Not surprisingly, after nine holes and nine cocktails I'm driving erratically, recklessly, drunkenly. Very cool and fun, actually, until some muckity-muck gets a hair up his ass and tells me I shouldn't have the cart in the pro shop in the first place.
12:04, 10th hole. The ball washers on this course do a nice job but, as usual, are mighty rough on the scrotum.
12:17, 11th green. Against course regulations, I drive the cart into a bunker and get stuck. Our efforts to extricate the damn thing cause it to roll onto its side; another push and we get it to roll over, out of the trap and back onto its wheels. In the process, the cooler of Bloody Marys spills. I have not seen the guys since they drove me back to the clubhouse parking lot and locked me in my car trunk.