Living on course requires some concessions

The old saying, or a derivative of it, goes, "Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it." Let's alter it a bit: "Be careful what you aspire to materialistically; it might be expensive." Here's the scoop on me:

--The first lost tooth: get wealthy with the tooth fairy.

--The shiny new bicycle at Christmas: the racy red one, a Schwinn.

--The first sports car: a 1964 Corvette fastback with the 327.

--The first motorcycle, a Triumph Tiger Cub: a 200-cc, 12-horsepower screamer.

--The first dream one-week vacation using a passport: foreign languages and all.

--The first sailboat, a 27-foot Catalina with the dinette layout: docked at Oxnard Harbor, Calif., within walking distance of The Whale's Tail restaurant.

--Ah ... that first taste of Dom Pérignon champagne: the nectar of the gods.

--A home on the golf course: get closer to what you love - live it!

Owning a home on the golf course has a certain prestige: big backyard, for sure; perfect lawn; dramatic views everywhere, especially at sunrise and sunset. Wildlife abounds: rabbits, roadrunners, squirrels, a dozen different species of birds and an occasional coyote that saunters across the fairway. Everything's at peace.

Neighbors are well-behaved, quiet and respectful of the community. Pride of ownership.

You've done it. I've done it. Standing in the tee box, a sweet swing produces a hook and is heading straight toward the houses on the left. You hold your breath, hoping to hear silence. Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don't ...

The first time, it really startled us. "What the (expletive) was that?" I thought. It was the sound of glass breaking in the family room. Glass was everywhere, buffered only by the miniblinds covering the window. A bright yellow golf ball on the ground.

Rushing outside, we discovered a lone golfer speeding down the path, most likely to inflict more damage on the next hole. No wave, no recognition, apparently no conscience. Cost: $260 and a three-day wait period.

The second time was more intense. The errant shot rifled through an upper decorative window. The sound was like a bomb. Glass fragments flew in all directions. My mind was blank; I couldn't identify that sound. The only clue was a Titleist Pro V ball slowly settling down near the sofa.

That golfer drove up to the back and asked, "Did you see where my ball landed?" I pointed to the window. 'No (expletive)," he exclaimed. "I'll take care of it. That shot really got away from me." Cost: $0 and a renewed trust in the golfing brotherhood.

Another unique incident took place soon thereafter. Enjoying coffee early one weekend morning, a ball ricocheted around the backyard and finally stopped with no damage.

Then another bounced into the yard and settled under the fig tree. Not five minutes later, a yellow Callaway ball thudded off the stucco and was restrained by the healthy ficus vine near the picture window.

Later that morning, I purchased a helmet.

Early mornings are no cakewalk, either. Golf machinery starts when the sun goes up. One of those grass-cutting, sand trap-raking, soil-aerating machines seemingly is outside the bedroom window every morning. We don't need an alarm clock anymore.

And the early golfers are a treat as well. You wake up to find twosomes peering into your backyard trying to rescue a golf ball. You learn you need to dress a little more modestly when going to the kitchen.

There are some upsides to the situation, however. After living there for two months, I've collected 57 golf balls. I figure at $15 a dozen, I could sell them to golfers and turn a profit. Tax-free, too.

An over-the-fence concession stand featuring fine wines might work in this upscale golf course. A little sign, fake crystal goblets and a healthy pour would enable golfers to finally get wine to enjoy on the links. Nuts? Maybe.

Here's the roundup of the rest of my whims:

--The Tooth Fairy? A lousy quarter.

--That shiny red bike? A broken arm two days after the training wheels came off.

--The Corvette? Stolen two months later while attending a movie at the Hollywood Cinerama Dome in California.

--The Tiger Cub motorcycle? An over-the-handlebar accident with multiple bumps and bruises and a totaled bike.

--The vacation? Great week while it lasted and then two weeks fighting the "revenge."

--The sailboat? It's true what they say about boats: It's the second-greatest time of your life when you sell the darn money pit.

--The ever-loving Dom Pérignon? Really delicious until the Visa bill arrives and an empty bottle goes in the trash.

--The golf course home? Wouldn't have it any other way.

Cost of a net to protect the home: $3,000. HOA reaction: priceless.

John Asay is a longtime golfer and local freelance writer. Contact him at