Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

June 23, 2016

If you are over 55 and you like nostalgia TV, you might like to relive your youth for an hour and catch a black and white (yes kids, TV used to be in black and white) rerun of Lost In Space.

The Space Family Robinson had a robot who would warn the family of impending danger. The young son (space cadet) was named Will and he was always in danger from alien beings or dangerous, creepy-crawly space animals. Hence the robot’s catch phrase, “Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!” has long outlived the TV series and has found an eternal place in the minds of many baby-boomers.

Now by this time, you must be wondering, where I am going with this opening theme and how does it pertain to golf? Well, there are many situations on golf courses that can put a golfer in jeopardy from earth animals, as well as man-made danger. So just for fun, envision a futuristic golf cart or electric walking cart-robot, which will tell you of impending danger… “Danger, (insert your name here), Danger!” If you were playing at Kampala Golf Club in Uganda, your cart would constantly be warning you of the danger of crocodiles or hippos, which live in ten out of eighteen water hazards - not to mention lions and elephants. The good news is that you get a free drop from a hippopotamus footprint, but I was unable to locate the distance to the nearest hospital, just in case you did not heed your robot caddie.

During the 1972 Singapore Open, a pro golfer named Jimmy Stewart (no relation to another baby-boomer reference) teed off on the third hole and hit a 295 yard drive into the rough. As he approached his ball, a 10 foot cobra approached his ball from the opposite direction. Stewart killed the snake (no mention if he used an iron or wedge), but as he regained his composure and addressed his next shot, another cobra came toward him out of the  rough (possibly an enraged spouse) and he killed that one too. A robot warning would have been nice here for sure.

Back in South Africa, a golfer named Molly Whitaker was playing a round at the Beachwood Natal Golf Course, when she stepped into a bunker and dug in for her next shot. Suddenly, a large monkey hiding in the brush rushed her and leaped onto her back, grabbing her around the neck and pulling her hair. Her quick thinking caddie grabbed an iron and hit the monkey, who then took off for the nearest tree. (No mention if she was penalized for grounding her club.) Nothing says “fun playing golf” like landmines in the rough. It is bad enough dodging lions, elephants, crocodiles, monkeys and cobras, but landmines in the rough will make you want to hit them straight, or better yet, send your robotic caddie into the rough looking for your ball. In that no-man’s-land, called the DMZ between North and South Korea, American soldiers who missed playing golf built a 192 yard par three course. They nicknamed the course Camp Bonifas Country Club, but signs posted on the course remind players, “Danger! Do Not Retrieve Golf Balls From The Rough. Live Land Mines! Last but not least, even a robot can’t help you on this course: A portion of the Scholl Canyon Golf Course is built on the Los Angeles County landfill. On a breezy day, the smell from a portion of the land fill that is still in use will remind you to speed up play and make gimmies anything fifteen feet or closer to the hole.

19th Hole trivia
• Lost In Space ran for three seasons (1965-1968) with the last two seasons being televised in color. It was cancelled at the end of the third season, without network explanation. (I saw a color promotional photo of the cast on the internet and they were dressed in pastel pink, green, yellow, purple and black space attire.  This may have led to their demise.)

• Antarctica also has a golf course called the Scott Base Golf Course. The average summer temperature is -20 degrees and golfers use pink golf balls. If you had a robot there, he might say, “Danger (your name here) your balls will freeze, Danger!”

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