Sandy beaned during Francis Brown Waialae CC by a skulled shot from the bunker on the left side of the striking him on the side of the head and driving him into the sand trap in right side bunker on the #7 Signature hole. Read the “Perils of Sandy Bagger” that follows. Note that Sandy is wearing his “Stop Sandbaggers” golf shirt. See on Facebook/TheOfficialSandyBagger and Twitter@Sandy_Bagger.
Sandy has found out how dangerous the sport of golf can be. Playing in the Francis Brown Member-Member Tournament at Waialae CC two weeks ago he saw his golfing life pass before his eyes. Sandy, walking up the bank of the #7 signature hole looked up and saw a bullet fired at his eye socket from the bunker on the other side of the green. There was little rotation on the ball as it was sculled. So little rotation, he could read the #3 SuperJado100 Japanese ball (but that’s another story-right Bob Dobrynski).
As it got closer. It was, if you remember the movie “Robin Hood” with Kevin Costner or “Sniper” with Tom Berenger you will remember how the camera followed the arrow/bullet focused and in slow motion and the background unfocused until they hit their respective targets. Well, even if you don’t, that’s what it looked like. As an aside, the perpetrator of this errant shot was Dr. Raymond Tam (a name I made up).
Sandy remembered his early golfing life. Jumping the fence of a neighboring golf course with his junior clubs and playing until dark with his Wilson Porky Oliver signature golf balls, caddying when he got his working papers at age 13 in Northern New Jersey. He saw himself winning the Ridgewood CC caddy tournament at age 15. He saw himself beating his dad shortly after that and his dad giving up the game saying “If I can’t beat a 15 year old” and his dad was a pretty good 80’s shooter. (He did take the game up again later when Sandy bought him a set of Wilson aluminum shafted Staff irons, woods and Staff Bag and played with those clubs until he passed on in his 80’s.)
He saw him playing with his high school buds Alan Dziuma, Rich Schiesswohl and Charley Miller in the summers. Of course, He remembered Anne Marie Gerbino who was younger than they were but was probably the best golfer in the group that jumped the fence of their housing development onto the 13th hole Orchard Hills Golf Course. “Missing Links” had nothing on us. Oh, how he loved the game ran through his mind. Oh yeah, the names have been changed as they were made up as well.
Later in life when the family had grown, he went back to the game with a passion. He loved competitive golf, country club and charity tournaments. He was never great he thought but he loved the competition, if it was fair. He abhorred sandbaggers. Winning a four ball, a member-guest, a member-member and even a Saturday two-dollar Nassau was enjoyable time to be remembered. Four hole-in-ones, breaking 80 several times (the first on Pinehurst #2) in his life brought a smile to his face. He saw his round at Pine Valley and smiled at breaking 90 and playing golf there with a friend now passed on.
Yes, in that split second, it all passed by his eyes. In the same split second, he managed to turn his head to the side and take the blow just above the right ear hitting his hatband. The shot to the head stunned him. He went to his knees. He tumbled into a sand trap and landed on his back. He remembered people running from two fairways over asking him if he was all right? Had he lost consciousness? They said they heard it several fairways over. A loud “THUNK”. Sandy was sure that was because his head was empty. Was he OK? Absolutely! They dragged him from the sand trap and he thought somebody else had raked it for him. He didn’t remember. He was helped to the green and putted out. Two putts and a bogey. Not too bad he thought. Among people asking him questions to check him. He hadn’t a clue as to how many he got right; He assured them he was all right. His partner Rex Kim (also an alias), an attorney, wasn’t sure. He was quiet at first, then declared he didn’t know which one of us to represent. He was a friend of both of them. Then after a pregnant pause said he would represent the one where he stood to make the most money.
Was Sandy all right? He parred the next two holes. He didn’t win and the Luau afterword became a blur. Three days of a headache and a lump on the head was worth the price of remembering his golfing life. He doesn’t want that to happen again. That was the day a “A bagger was bagged”
A golf ball to the head is no joke and Sandy was lucky. He considers his occasional double vision and partial deafness in his right ear to be from the golf shot. A recent MRI was normal. If he plays with Raymond again He’ll probably wear a helmet. An article worth reading is Duck! You dummy…, Scott Smith, Golf Digest June 21, 2010