Danger, Will Robinson, danger!
If you are 65 or older and like nostalgia TV, you might catch a black-and-white (yes, kids, TV used to be in B&W) rerun of “Lost In Space” on Me TV or Antenna TV and relive your youth for an hour.
If you remember the show, the Space Family Robinson had a robot named Robbie who would warn the family of impending danger. The young son (space cadet) was named Will and it seemed he was always in danger from alien beings or creepy-crawly space animals.
Hence the catchphrase, “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!” uttered by the robot. It has long outlived the TV series, but seems to have found an eternal place in the mind of many baby boomers.
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 worldwide which can put a golfer in jeopardy from earth animals, as well as manmade danger. So just for fun, envision a futuristic golf cart or electric walking cart-robot, which will tell you of impending danger … “Danger, (your name here), danger!”
Danger No. 1: 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 10 out of 18 water hazards, not to mention lions and elephants.
The good news is that you get a free drop from a hippopotamus footprint, or “pie,” but I was unable to locate the distance to the nearest hospital, just in case you did not heed your robot caddie and decided to try and outrun a hippo.
Danger No. 2: During the 1972 Singapore Open, a pro golfer named Jimmy Stewart (no relation to the actor Jimmy Stewart … 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 driver), 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, and possibly a spare set of trousers.
Danger No. 3: 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, screaming or being engaged in monkey business).
Danger No. 4: 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 your shots 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!”
Danger No. 5: And 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 part of the landfill which is still in use will remind you to speed up play and make gimmies of anything 15 feet or closer to the hole.
19th Hole Trivia
* “Lost In Space” ran for four seasons, (1965-1968) with the last two seasons being televised in color. It was canceled at the end of the fourth 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!”