Among my entrepreneurial activities that summer, I salvaged golf balls from the narrow pond that served as a hazard on the thirteenth and fourteenth holes of the Mohawk Country Club. To judge from its location, you wouldn’t have thought it would come into play on either hole, since each offered a wide fairway and every opportunity to go around the water, but I doubted it could have attracted more balls had it been twice as large and right in front of the green. The more people faced away from the water, stared off into the friendly fairway, the more surely their ball would be destined for the pond. One afternoon before it had occurred to me that I might retrieve the balls that were down there, I sat on my bike for three hours and charted in my mind where the tee shots dropped, growing more and more amazed at the dense concentration of shots that ended up in the small strip of water. It was enough to make you reconsider the wisdom of deciding, on the outset of any human endeavor, that there was this one thing you didn’t want to do.
Monday March 16th, 2009