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Never Say Dye

Randy Wilson


For our annual Halloween tale of horror, we present "Never Say Dye".

Long ago, in primitive golfland, I stupidly stepped into the shoes of a superintendent who escaped resigned from a haunted economically stressed golf course and subsequently ran off accepted another offer.

Before he left, he told a horrifying story of being tricked into attempting a resurrection of a zombie country club; the terror began the moment he stepped foot on the course.  It was built on floodplain, the bent greens had been (mistakenly?) dosed with simazine--and replaced with common bermuda--and the clubhouse staff was the worst in golf history.

To make things worse, the entire area was inhabited by monsters.

At first, I was reluctant to believe the monster part, but within days, I began to see them.  A crack-head with a sawed off shotgun forced me--and my helper at the time, future GCS Pat Stewart--out of an irrigation hole to help look for something called a crack monster.  A crew member, Mondell Jones, who lived in an apartment alongside #4 fairway, came screaming into the shop one morning, chased by an angry wife-monster.

. . . every GCS office should have a back door.

She was enthusiastically firing a .45, so we piled out the back door of the GCS office like lemmings going over a cliff and took cover in the woods.  I firmly believe every GCS office should have a back door.  (It was never determined if the wife-monster was Mondell's.)  There was also the partially nekkid monster fellow in the Batman costume with a strong physical attraction to the Asst. Supt., and another monster the FBI was hunting.

But the real monster was . . . the irrigation system.  It was a poorly constructed Rube Goldberg hydraulic affair.

The pump station was demon possessed, the water source was a foul creek that resembled a pit of quicksand and the course had almost 200 leaks.  Most of that stuff was fairly normal for a resurrection project, but the hydraulic part . . . that was the true horror.

Supposedly superior for avoiding lightning strikes and UFO abductions, the little hydraulic tubes took the place of copper wire and worked by keeping the valves closed with pressure higher than main line pressure.  When you had a failure, it failed open.  That's right, a tiny drop in hydraulic pressure caused every head in sight to come on, until the pumps gave out or the creek went dry.  Four hour water cycles on bentgrass are really great.

My predecessor injected various dyes of different strengths into the hydraulic system, hoping to identify the tube leaks, and quickly learned two important facts:  First, the system, theoretically pulling from a clean municipal source, was also pulling from the nasty creek, thanks to a big break in the hastily engineered half-inch PVC line running on the bottom of the creek.

He discovered the second thing as he drove by one of the drinking water fountains and witnessed dark blue liquid pouring from the fountain sides, top and bottom, like a special effect in a horror film.  Oh, and his other clue was the angry old golfer with a blue mouth and a blue-streaked beard.

I eventually escaped resigned and ran off.  The next victim GCS was a lot smarter than me, as he ran off within two hours of his arrival.

So, for our usual October offering, we present "The Hawg Haint", our favorite classic scary film.  Be sure and watch for the monster.  


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