One spring day I needed to work on the 17th green. Driving down the cart path in an open cab Daihatsu truckster, I hustled along to finish by lunch time. As soon as I drove off the cart path onto the rough I knew I had made a mistake. Standing water covered the grass, everywhere. Immediately my truckster hydroplaned. I swore at Bulmaro Rivas, our assistant irrigator, because he constantly over-watered the grass. I’d just become his victim.
I couldn’t brake. I couldn’t steer. All I could do was watch in horror as I slid out of control toward a very deep bunker forty yards away. The closer I got the more frantically I turned the steering wheel, trying to change directions. I pumped the brakes desperately hoping to find a dry patch of grass to slow my momentum.
But I kept sliding until I hit the edge of the bunker. I thought that would stop me, but momentum took me down over the edge where all four wheels were on the slope. I could look into the bottom of the bunker. The Daihatsu was at a thirty degree angle when the right wheels stuck in the grass and came to a stop, making me think my trip was done and I was safe.
This brief moment of relief vanished as the left side of my truckster started to rise up into the air. When I realized we were rolling over it was time for action. If I stayed in the truckster it would fall on me for sure. I had to get out to avoid serious injury, but how and when?
I decided to jump when the truckster was vertical. Throwing my arms out and pushing with my legs, I cleared the truckster landing prone in the sand. Still not feeling safe I rolled away on my side three times to ensure the truckster would miss me when it hit the ground.
WHAM!! The truckster landed upside down in the bottom of the bunker, spraying trash and tools and sand into the air. I covered my head until the noise subsided, then turned to find the truckster had landed only four inches from my shoulder.
Wow! That’s too close. Wish I had rolled four times.