BOSTON (CBS) – Hannibal Lecter was right about a lot of things. Good manners are important, being in jail sucks, and some people deserve to be eaten.
Mostly, I agree with his theory regarding wants and desires. “We begin by coveting what we see every day,” he told special agent Starling. That little nugget helped Clarice catch Buffalo Bill, and has helped me understand why I tuck my man parts back and dance in front of a mirror.
Uh, I mean, understand why I want to play this one particular golf course.
For the past 6 years, my route to and from work has taken me past The Country Club in Brookline. I didn’t even know it for the first six months or so, as the course is well hidden by trees, shrubs, and a privacy fence that seems to say, “Keep Out. In Fact, Don’t Even Look. You’re Not Worthy.”
Intrigued, I started taking longer and more dangerous looks while driving past, flirting with curbs and other cars as I tried to catch a glimpse. I asked my golfing buddies if they’d ever played it, and if they had, what it was like. My friend Steve gave me detailed accounts of the layout, bunker placement and green speeds. Another friend, Rob, tried to spare my feelings with a cryptic, “dude, you don’t even want to know.”
Google Earth took my obsession to a new level, allowing me to get a satellite view of the course that teased me twice a day, six days a week. Yes, six.
I do a weekend show, when I should be golfing. More torture.
Learning more about the history of the course made it even worse. With an innocuous name like The Country Club, it initially escaped me that it was the site of the epic U.S. come back victory in the 1999 Ryder Cup. Same goes for the 1913 U.S. Open, when some local kid named Francis Ouimet shocked the golfing world by winning “The Greatest Game Ever Played.”
Country club golf has never appealed to me more than public golf. I enjoy the game in just about every incarnation, and I’m the furthest thing from a golf snob you’ll ever find. But this isn’t just a country club; it’s The Country Club. And it’s maddening to see it’s boundaries with such regularity without so much as getting a whiff of a glove in the pro shop.
Golf Digest didn’t help either, when they once again named it the best course in Massachusetts in the May 2011 issue, and the 16th best course in the country.
This isn’t an appeal to get on the course. I’d rather it happen by honest means, not because someone reads this and pulls a string with a friend of a friend to get me out on a Monday posing as a caddy or clubhouse bartender.
For now, I’m content to covet.
There’s no harm in that, unless I ask The Country Club to help me load some furniture in the back of a van. At that point, someone better call the FBI.