The twirlybird Ping Raptor….
85 yards to the centre of the 1st green at Copperhead, Innisbrook Golf Resort

I was just recently meeting customers at Innisbrook golf resort in Florida and we had just finished the most enjoyable round on Copper-Head with a couple of friends. We did what most golfers would do after the 18th hole. We went to the 19th hole or the bar at the Osprey club house and ordered some lunch to discuss the betting details of the round we just played. It was a busy afternoon at Osprey and as we asked for a table from the nice lady bar tending, she pointed to a table for 4 persons in the courtyard and said “that’s yours!” as she smiled.
There was a group of three gents sitting at the table behind and they were laughing and joking aloud about something or another about a font loader and five greens staff on the course. Naturally the meticulous golf pro that I am and when I hear good laughter that is unusual tends to catch my attention.

So the guys been guys and they had the best of intentions to make light hearted good fun of their friend. One of the guys at the table looked at me and said “hey we got a funny story about our pal here!!” and I looked at the guys and grinned I said “sure, I love to hear good stories”.

Jake is the name of the golfer and they were starting to tell his story. Last December, 2014 Jake was at the Innisbrook Golf Resort playing golf with another group of guys. He was playing on one of the Resorts courses at Innisbrook called the Island Course. If you have not played the Island course, the Island course is tighter off the tee and a little shorter in length than Copper-Head, but a really good test of golf. Some of the holes are tight tree lined in marsh land and it’s easy to lose golf balls from golf shots just off line.

Jake was playing the second round of their tournament and he was level par playing the 6th. Which his score at that time was the makings of a really good score. But! On the 7th tee, Jake hit his tee shot, this hole is a tightly tree lined with a fairway bunker located 220 yards up the fairway on the left. This is a difficult tee shot to hit the fairway. As Jake’s ball started to slide right towards the trees on the left, he left a grunt and with a wild swing, he left his club fly out of his hands in temper. The club took off like a helicopter but the club did not fly straight down the fairway. It choppered left into the dense trees and scrub. Jim and his buddies did spent 5 minutes looking for the club, but alas, it’s gone and quite possibly never to be found again. What made matters worse for Jake, the ball popped off a tree back into the centre of the fairway. His comments followed where all about “poor me and why me” and he played badly for the rest of the round.

Roll on to the 20th of January, 2015. Jake is back at Innisbrook with his four friends for 3 days of great golf and they are set to play 36 holes a day. The first round is at the Island course and he reinvestigated the scene where he lost his ping 2 iron raptor, graphite x-stiff shaft. That 2 iron turned out to be his favourite club that he used to hit his tee shots straight and long. So he looked in the trees again and found his club! Great! His poor club spent Christmas and New Years all alone and it’s now reunited with its owner! 
On their final round they were playing Copper-Head. On the 9th hole, Jake was hitting his two iron off the tree and pulled his tee shot into the trees on the left. Yet again, the club was swung in anger and he let the club fly in the same direction the ball went! “The Raptor Twirlybird club is stuck up the tree!!” From that comment his friend start laughing hard and really laughed aloud. Jake went over to recover his club. But this club is stuck in the branches of the tree suspended the club 30 ft from the ground.
A great day at Innisbrook Golf Resort with Concierge Golf

This is a problem for Jake!

Jakes starts throwing his other clubs at the 2 iron trying to dislodge the club from the tree and during that process his 9 iron and 6 iron became stuck in the tree also.
Two green keepers came on the scene and offered to help. One of the green keepers threw their shovel up into the tree trying to knock the clubs out and then! The shovel got stuck in the tree also.
Losing hope and Jake is not at all feeling good about the situation that he is after creating. Moments later three more green keepers arrive wondering what in world are three people doing throwing sticks up into the tree?

After a brief explanation…

One of the green keepers arrived with a front loaded tractor and the tallest green keeper hopped into the bucket of the front loader. I got a bit nervous when the guys were telling this part of the story and I could not help to think to myself that this is a bit risky. But the green keepers saved the day. They rescued Jakes clubs and their shovel from the tree. Meanwhile Jakes playing partners had just finished playing the 9th hole and from the 9th green watched the front loader in action. They were wishing they got this fiasco on video!
Also most finished, Jake was playing the 16th hole and he hit a good drive down the centre of the fairway and he was left to play a 6 iron for his next shot. This was one of the clubs he used to try and dislodge the magic twirlybird raptor. The club snapped during his back swing like a medicus club… Whoops!
Recreating the scene! 

As golfers we know that throwing clubs is a really bad habit and should be discouraged. I am quite sure Jake has learnt his lesson about club throwing. Its expense to fix clubs and crazy when clubs are throw away…
Jake did not say, but I am sure he tipped the guys for rescuing all his clubs out of the tree and if you the estimate the costs of a new shaft for his 6 iron, plus the bets he lost on the 9th. He lost about $200…


Author of this story is John Dooley PGA

Golf Travel Experts | Irish Golf Tours | Golf in Ireland | World best golf courses Ireland


Popular Posts