Sometimes an outrageous idea can be the most practical way to solve a problem. And we had one helluva problem.
Between the fairway and the island where the 15th green was located, a bridge allows golfers to cross the pond and enter the green. Well, this incident happened the day before the Tradition golf tournament was to begin. While blowing clipping off the fairway an operator let his tractor wheels slip off into the pond. He was lucky it didn’t roll over. Immediately, Ron, the superintendent, was called out to the scene. Many alternatives to recover the tractor were discussed, including chaining it to another mower to pull it out, or even Ron’s four-wheel drive truck. But, either option would tear up the grass, which had to be in perfect shape for players and the television broadcast. There wouldn’t be enough time to repair the damage. What to do?
“Push it into the pond.” Ron said. “And, make sure I can’t see it. We’ll pull it out after the tournament.”
As Ron left four men just stood and looked at each other. Finally, Juan said, “Mario you can swim. You drive.”
Being the youngest he really couldn’t argue, so he mounted the driver’s seat, started the tractor and put it in gear. With a look over his shoulder to confirm he was doing the right thing, Mario opened the tractor’s throttle, let out the clutch and lurched into the pond. The engine could only suck in water so long before it expired. Luckily it was completely submerged, leaving Mario shoulder deep in water. He swam the short distance to shore where his buddies helped him out of the water.
So, there the tractor sat below the water’s surface for the four-day tournament without a player, an official, or TV camera man noticing it. After the tournament the tractor was pulled out of the pond requiring much time and money to recondition the water damaged motor.