Monday, March 22, 2010

Is This Something You Might Be Interested In?

There are not too many reasons Emet and I would voluntarily submit ourselves to the waterboard-esque torture of a time share presentation. Them holding AJ hostage would be one. Free golf would be the other.

Fortunately, it was the latter.

But...Oh. My. God. That must be eerily similar to what a cult is like.

We went into the (allegedly) 90-minute presentation with our eyes wide open. I'd been to one before and was somewhat amused by the indignation expressed by the salesfolk when we turned down their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This being a recession and all, I anticipated a softer sell. We figured we'd just be calm and friendly, participate where we were asked, patiently absorb the pitch and then walk away with our parting gifts. I even left outs, akin to arranging a phone call by your buddy to get you out of a bad blind date. We didn't check out of the resort, which had a noon deadline, so I could beg off if the pitch ran over. And then we'd have an hour before we teed off for bloody marys and some swings on the range.

The best laid plans...

Our salesman was a jovial fella named Dale. He was more of a zone trap kinda guy, as opposed to 94-feet of Hell. He was armed with more files than a congressional page, all photos of smiling children and impenetrable statistical data, designed to prove to Emet and I that, our entire lives, we've have been vacationing incorrectly.

Now, the resort is in the middle of facking nowhere. Fallbrook, CA to be exact. Sure, you can get to San Diego in 30 minutes. Or Disneyland in 80. We had a slight problem with this. "What do you like to do on vacation?" Dale asked. "Uh...go to sports events, gamble, drink, go to concerts."

Which is pretty much true. I'm sure it occurred to Dale right then, though he was a consummate pro--never giving up the ghost--that we could do none of those things at this resort.

For a while, it wasn't too painful. Then I noticed that we were running long. My watch had us at two hours already and we had yet to tour the models. Enter stress. You dare keep me from my bloody mary!


Emet and I are gracious people. We were willing to hear him out. We never had any intention of buying, but we got a bunch of free shit (golf! Kings tickets!), so we were going to play along. But, after we said, "No," they didn't stop. After we said, "We're late and we gotta get out of here," they didn't stop. I suppose it's their job. I don't begrudge them. We were there voluntarily. But...well...I finally snapped.

We had endured the initial pitch, then the closer (who did the amusing indignation thing), then a re-run from Dale (each time, the price getting lower and lower, to where it was 25% of what they initially offered) and a very slow walk down a hallway to pick up our gifts. When the clerk said, "Jackie will be right down to explain your gift package," I knew we were in store for one last effort and I wasn't about to let it happen.

Jackie arrived and said, "This way please," as she herded us toward her desk. "How are you?"

"Well Jackie," I began, spittle flying. "Not good. We were supposed to check out of our room 20 minutes ago, our tee time is in 40 minutes and our clubs are stuck in the room. Ya'll said it would be 90 minutes and we've now been here for two-and-a-half hours. We're done. We want to go."

I'm sure that was not Jackie's first time around at being the dart board for frustrated non-time share owners. She spun around, dropped our packet back with he clerk and told him to get us out of there. So, kudos to her.

Once back in the car, all was right again. Well, except for having to petition the front desk to let us into our room to get our stuff ("This kind of thing happens all the time with those people," she said). And it was golf time.


Boy, am I an addict. It's currently golf that takes up all my time and ambition. You know what they say, you've got to play to get better. So, I pretty much spend all my off-days playing golf (and going to Little League practice). Fortunately, Emet likes to play too, so we get some date time out on the fairways.

The jones is strong. It was even worse yesterday, because last Thursday, I shot an 86. A 4-over 40 on the back. That may be small potatoes for guys like The Bracelet and schaubs, but it's the first time I've broken 90 in 15 years (though, to be fair, I didn't play for 13-and-a-half of those). And I shattered it. Beat my best at that course by 6 strokes. I'd been flirting with 90 recently, however (like a couple weeks ago when I went double-triple-double on the last 3 holes for a 94) and am real comfortable with my swing. I've been hitting the ball great. Sadly, I putt like a blindfolded epileptic.

I was pumped to get back out there. So pumped, apparently, that I was hitting the ball way further than usual (or that may have just been sweet relief at not being imprisoned in a time share presentation any longer). To wit: My second shot into the par-4 first hole was a substantially-uphill 140 yards to the middle of the green. I hit a full 8-iron about 145, which I figured might be a little short due to the elevation change, but all the trouble was behind the green, so I went with it. And hit it 10 yards over, where it landed on the cart path and bounced down into a canyon. Triple.

Missed the green long with a 9 on hole #2. Double.

Then I figured out the air was thin or all those push-ups were paying dividends or the booze was making my swing freer and easier. Either way, I adjusted. Though those first two holes screwed my front nine (49), I rebounded with a solid 43 on the back (which featured a birdie on the 11th, an occasion for which I whipped out a celebration dance that was embarrassing for everyone involved).

Does that read like a hand history? I don't care. Eff you.

I didn't break 90 again, but this course was more difficult than the one I usually play, much narrower fairways and lots more OB issues (though, amazingly, I had just the single penalty stroke and lost ball on the first hole). I walked off the 18th in a great mood and can't wait to play again (Wednesday). All in preparation for donkeypuncher's visit in two weeks, where I expect to win lots of money from him on the links.


So, I suppose it was worth it in the end. Got to experience a nice new course. Had a night away with Emet (we gambled at Pala Indian Casino a bit the night before, but I didn't play poker because I hate being that guy whose girlfriend sits behind him bored to tears). And learned, finally, once and for all, to never submit to a time share presentation ever again.

But I suppose joining a cult is still in play. If they have a nice course with reasonable green fees.


At 8:13 PM, Blogger on_thg said...

"Sadly, I putt like a blindfolded epileptic."

Even more sadly, that's still better than me.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger on_thg said...

also, congratulations on breaking 90. Next stop the 70s, followed by bitching when you *don't* break 80.

(captcha for this comment: rugshill)

At 4:35 AM, Blogger The Bracelet said...

I'm jealous. I haven't been able to get out yet and I don't anticipate getting out much when the weather turns either. E hates golf but hates me spending what she calls "the entire day" playing a round of golf on the weekend even more. I don't blame her. I'd want to hang out with me if I was her too. I'm pretty fantastic.

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Schaubs said...

Well done on cracking 90 dude! Awesome. To break 80 you know what you have to do. Putt & Chip until your hands hurt, your back aches and it is so dark that you can barely see the hole. In fact, often night putting/chipping is a good way to work on your feel. Keep practicing, I see good things happening if you keep at it. You are right about the thin air though, definitely a factor in distance control.

LOL @ the Bracelet. Lola feels the same way. She calls my rounds "8 hours".

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

Never cracked 90. Actually cracking 100 is the means for me buying a round or four afterwards.

Me and the wife made the rookie Vegas mistake of going to a presentation for showtickets our first year there (Crazy Girls! CLASSY!). I didn't quite get the appeal of staying in a condo with the Vegas strip nearly 15 minutes away and no shuttles.

Makes it harder to play slots at 4am with your lucky shamrock PJs on.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger BamBam said...

Congrats on cracking barrier #2!
#3 will come in time, just relax a bit more while putting!

I almost went to jail from checking out a time-share deal. True story!


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