Colts Neck

In which the author tries in vain to brave the elements in waterproof pants.

The phone call came at 6:50 Sunday morning, which would have been horrific had I not arisen half an hour earlier in its anticipation. Yes, confirmed the far end of the call, the rain isn’t as bad there, and the drainage system is excellent, and the golf outing is a go, despite the heavy rains outside my apartment. Besides, we had made the forced error of paying for the day in advance, sealing our fate.

I left home shortly after, golf clubs on one side, umbrella on the other, trudging four wet minutes to my car, driving around the corner to an ATM, picking up a friend and heading for Colts Neck, N.J., home of sprawling estates and horse stables and the site of my apparently wet sporting event.

We arrived in light rain, which quickly became a heavy downfall as we signed in and hit practice balls on the range. Doubling back to the clubhouse before teeing off, we begged for towels and layered up clothes; I purchased all-weather pants to keep myself from catching cold.

I was in the third group of the day. By the time we got to the first hole, standing water had accumulated on the tee box, almost as high as the grass itself. I was in a threesome. The first man teed off and nearly lost the club out of his hand. I hit what happened to be a beautiful drive, but did so through rainfall so thick that my playing partners said I looked like I “hit out of a puddle.” Our third player refused to get out of his cart, told us we were fools if we stayed out, and headed for the clubhouse. After a moment of dejection, we did the same.

The starter—who insisted the course was playable—agreed without much argument to give us a group rain check. A fast, greasy meal at the local Perkins ended the affair. We were back in Manhattan before noon, still soggy from the morning’s activities, but more than a bit relieved we didn’t put ourselves through 18 holes of misery on a rain forest of a golf course.

Golfers are a rather stupid lot, but even we have our limits.