Ball in the Rough

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A novice golfer and two enormous pro wrestlers have a little unsanctioned fun during a charity tournament! I’ve used semi-fictional names for the principals, but wrestling fans will doubtless spot the resemblances.



“I don’t even know how to play golf, Larry!” I stared at my boyfriend over my latte and shook my head.

Not for the first time, I wondered why I had ever hooked up with him in the first place. Larry was a sports freak. If it involved large sweaty men, odd clothing and arcane rules of conduct, he was into it. Sometimes I had a suspicion that he liked the large sweaty men part of it the best–he wasn’t exactly an athlete in bed with me.

“Well, you never know until you try,” he said in his annoying lisp, and tore open another one of those little brown sugar packets they have at Starbucks. Larry eats way too much sugar, in my opinion. “I can’t get anyone else on such short notice. Maurice finked out on me, I have to have a partner to make it a foursome, and you can rent the clubs. Be a sport.”

“That was my point. I’m not into sports. I’ll kill somebody with the ball or something.”

“I doubt that,” said Larry. “You won’t be able to hit it that hard anyway.”

“Gee, thanks. What is this tournament, anyway?”

“Celebrity charity tournament. The celebs are all pro athletes.”

“Like I couldn’t have guessed.” I groaned and took a bite of my bagel. “God, look at the time. I have to get to work.”

“Are we on, then?” Larry raised his brows at me. “I’ll pick you up tomorrow at seven sharp. Our tee-off time is eight-fifteen.”

I consider anything before nine a barbaric time of the morning. “I don’t know.”

“Annie, I’m going to forfeit the entry fee if I don’t show up with a partner! I thought you were all Scotch and thrifty. I can’t believe it–Scotch, and you’ve never played golf!”

“The term is Scots, as I’ve told you a million times before–I’m not a bottle of whisky. And my dad’s Scots–I’ve never even been to Scotland. He doesn’t play golf either.” I picked up my morning paper, downed the rest of my latte, and left the bagel.

“Oh, come on. Do me a favor once in a while. I’ll take you to some chick flick afterwards.”

“I don’t know…”

“I’ll buy dinner. Please?”

I considered that. “Not Chinese again.”

“Not Chinese. You pick the restaurant. Please, no more than three dollar signs per entree.”

“Ooh, big spender. All right, you’re on. You pay for this golf club rental, too.”

A look of real pain crossed his face. “All right, all right! Wear a skirt and walking shoes. This is one of those old-fashioned courses that have a dress code. No women with pants.”

“Women without pants are OK, then? Check.” I winked at him and headed out to hail a cab.

This was starting to smell like a relationship in need of a break. Like a breakup. But I had promised, and I would fulfill my obligations. As long as Larry fulfilled his and took me out to dinner and a movie. I could tell him I was dumping him after we left the theater.


“OK, which one is this again? The woody?”

“The 1-wood, also known as the driver. Sheesh, Annie, don’t try to make conversation, OK? You’re going to embarrass me.” Larry rolled his eyes and started the golf cart.

I put the bag of rented clubs between my knees and held on as the cart lurched away from the pro shop. I had really dressed the part today–I wore a tweed skirt that had been my mother’s in college, a pair of two-tone saddle shoes, an oxford blouse and a sun visor. I looked something like Katherine Hepburn in one of those movies she made with Spencer Tracy, except that I wasn’t quite as thin and wore my hair longer. I was actually having fun. The tournament hadn’t even started yet, but I was having fun irritating Larry.

He wore brand new golf shoes and expensive golf duds with Nike swooshes all over them, and my retro look didn’t quite match. “You look like you think you’re golfing with Sam Snead, for God’s sake. I feel like I ought to be wearing knickerbockers.”

Larry took an abrupt swerve to avoid hitting a small knot of Canada geese that were standing insolently in his path. They stared at him and took simultaneous poops on the grass as we passed. “Goddamn geese. They’re everywhere.”

“Yep, they sure are.” I grabbed my golf bag to prevent it from falling out of the cart as Larry took another swerve down a path marked “To the Tee”.

“Now, I don’t know who our athletes are. We’ll be assigned them just before we tee off. I want to take one of them in the cart with me, OK? You can ride with the other one.”

“Oh, are you going to take him home with you?” I batted my eyelashes at him and made little panting sounds with my tongue hanging out. “You did say they were ours. Can I take mine home with me too?”

“Jesus. Don’t embarrass me.”

“But it’s so deeply satisfying to embarrass you, Larry. You’re the one who begged me to come along.”

He muttered and mumbled to himself until we lurched to a stop in an open area. A set of bleachers rose up above gaziantep bayan escort the manicured grass, and groups of people stood around posing for photographers or chatting. I recognized a few of the athletes-football players and basketball players, with a tennis pro here and there.

“Oh, pinch me–it’s Andre Agassi,” said Larry with wide eyes. “God, I hope I get him!”

“Don’t look now, but I think he’s giving you the eye,” I replied. He began to mutter to himself again. I looked around as we got out of the golf cart and walked up to a table set up near the teeing green, with a sign reading ‘Partner Assignments, L-Z’ hanging from it.

“Hello, I’m Larry Person,” said Larry, holding out his entry form. “I’m pre-registered.”

“What kind of person?” said the elderly man behind the table, who seemed to be hard of hearing. “Hairy? You don’t look all that hairy to me.” He took the form and sorted through a box of index cards.

“No, that’s my name. Larry Person.”

“I guess your parents had a sense of humor, Harry,” said the old man after a long stare at Larry. “I’ve never approved of that sort of thing being perpetrated on innocent children. And your young lady?” He poised a felt pen over a sheet of sticky tags.

“Annie MacLachlan,” I said, and spelled it for him. The old man made me a name tag and handed it to me; I stuck it on my oxford blouse. Larry got a pre-printed tag and a number slip.

“Wait for your number to be called,” said the old man. “Whoever’s up at that point will be your playing partners for the tournament.”

“Oh, gee, couldn’t you tell us who we’re getting?” said Larry. His eyes bugged out as Joe Montana walked by. “And maybe we could slip into the right spot in line…?”

“Sorry, luck of the draw.” The old man shook his head and turned to the next pair of golfers.

“Oh, ugh!” said Larry, staring beyond me. “Pray we don’t get any of *them*!”

“Who?” I asked, turning around. “Those guys?” A group of very large, muscular men had just arrived in several golf carts and were getting out their bags. “Are they athletes, or amateurs?”

“Well,” sniffed Larry, “that’s a matter of debate. Pro wrestling isn’t what I call a sport!”

“Pro wrestling?” I know precisely zero about wrestling, as I do about most things of which Larry professes knowledge. Sometimes I think he pretends to be an expert about some things just because I’m not. I can tell that he’s faking if I have even the smallest information on the subject. Such as with sex.

“Yes; can you believe it? The organizers actually invited people from the WWF. Some poor bozos are going to be stuck playing with those low-lifes!” Larry looked at his number slip. “We’re twenty-four, so keep your ears open.”

Since he had expressed such disdain, my interest was piqued. I looked over at the wrestlers again. Six of them had gathered, some perfectly enormous and a couple of them more average-sized. Blond and dark-haired and bald, with one black man among them and one younger man with purple hair.

The last one of the group got out of his cart and stretched, taking off his baseball cap, and I let out a little gasp. This one was a redhead, and he was the tallest of them all.

“What?” said Larry irritably. “Oh, darn, Andre Agassi is in group twenty!”

“Well, there goes your chance of getting a date for Saturday night,” I said absently, watching the redhead. I could only see his back, but the view was attention-getting.

He wore a short-sleeved shirt and golf shorts that showed his muscular calves. Every inch of visible skin on his massive arms, right down to the wrists, was covered with tattoos. I rather liked tattoos, though not always the people attached to them. His hair was very long for a man’s, reaching down to his shoulder blades even braided, and it shone beautifully copper-colored in the morning sun.

I got a glimpse of the side of his face as he talked to another big man with dark hair, and saw a red goatee. ‘Ooh, facial hair,’ I thought. ‘Better and better.’

What really attracted my eyes, however, was his ass. He wasn’t a small man, so he didn’t have a small ass. It was big, lush, eminently squeezable-looking. My hands itched with the urge to go over and pat him on the butt. I wondered if he would mind.


“Twenty-two,” called someone over a mic, and Larry had another hissy fit over the loss of one of his dreamboats. I kept my eyes on Big Red, as I had just nicknamed him, and started to make a wish, crossing my fingers. “Twenty-three,” said the announcer, and another foursome stepped up to the tee. “Twenty-four!”

“Come on,” said Larry. “I think we’re getting Joe Montana!”

‘Rats,’ I said to myself, not wanting Larry to make cracks about my sudden penchant for wrestlers. I turned to follow him and stood where a man in a green jacket directed me when we got to the tee. “Woody…driver…dildo…” I muttered, sorting through my clubs while I struggled with the heavy bag.

“The biggest one,” said someone helpfully, right at my elbow.

“Oh, OK,” I said, hauling it out. “Thanks.” I turned and looked up–way up–into the eyes of Big Red.


The view was almost better from the front: broad chest, shirt open over slightly furry pecs, more tats. His face was so masculinely strong-jawed and cheekboned and nosed and bearded that I wondered if there was an earthquake going on at the moment that only I noticed.

And, I swear to God–his eyes were green. Really, really green, like the fairways and the tee and the trees. No, not like that sort of green, where the grass is all cut short and fertilized and manicured and dotted with goose poop. More like the part under the trees where everything grows a little wild, where you can lose things and never find them again. The rough, that’s what it’s called. His eyes were as green as the rough.

“Hi.” He smiled, and the earthquake went up a few points on the Richter scale. “I guess we’re playing together.”

“Oh, my God, I certainly hope so,” I said in a daze. Larry was having a real snit somewhere over in the periphery of my vision. “I’m Annie MacLachlan, and that’s Larry Person.”

“Yes, I read the name tag. I’m Mike Carrington.” He put out his hand, which could have made about four of my hands, and I shook it. It was like shaking hands with a catcher’s mitt, if catcher’s mitts had long fingers with cute freckles. “This is Jim Laymont.”

The dark-haired man he had been talking to came up and grinned at me. “Hey, there, missy. Looks like we got the best draw of the day.”

“Look, this is not–can I get another assignment, for Christ’s sake?” I heard Larry say to the man in the green jacket. “This is really important–“

“Read your rules sheet,” said the man. “All assignments are final, unless all parties agree to switch.”

“Annie!” yelled Larry. “Back me up here!”

“Are you on drugs?” I said. “Not a chance, buster.” The wrestlers chuckled.

“Hey, missy, you want to ride with me?” said Jim, waggling his brows. “I drive a mean golf cart.” He was pretty cute, with a black goatee and a big set of shoulders, but next to Mike he came in a definite second.

“Well, I…”

“It’ll fit three,” said Mike with a smile. “I reckon Harry here can navigate on his own.”

“Larry,” said Larry. We all ignored him.

“Ma’am, please go ahead,” said Mike. “That’s the ladies’ tee, up there.” He pointed to another tee several yards in front of the one we stood on.

I took my driver and a ball out of the side pocket of my bag and walked up to tee off. Although I hadn’t actually done this before, I had a general idea of how to proceed, and stuck one of the little wooden pegs I had in my shirt pocket into the ground between the markers. I balanced the ball on it, set up to swing, and swung.

I missed. Not just the ball; the ground too, and clouted myself in the ass on the backswing.

“Oops,” I said. “Ow.”

Jim busted a gut and tried not to show it, and Larry looked like he wanted to sink into the earth. Mike smiled and walked up to me.

“Here, let’s get those legs spread a little more,” he said, arranging my stance with the club on the ground. “Snug up on the shaft like this.” He stood right behind me and reached around my body to shift my hands on the grip.

“Oh, are you my golf coach?” I wiggled my hips a few inches backwards into his crotch. Mike cleared his throat.

“Yeah, I guess I am,” he said, sounding a little thick. “There you go. Try that again.”

He stood back and I swung again. This time I hit the ball with a satisfying KRAK. It went into the air and bounced a reasonable distance down the fairway.

“Nice shot.”

“Thanks. I’m usually pretty good with things that have shafts and big heads.” I bent over to pull my tee out of the ground, making sure to aim my backside in his direction. Mike cleared his throat again.

“OK, stand back to let us tee off,” he said, and walked back to pick up his golf bag.

Larry went first, making a rotten shot short of mine, since he was obviously pissed off. Too pissed off to notice my flirtations, which I had intended partly for his benefit. Jim went next and fired a screamer way past the point at which my ball had landed.

“Beat that,” he said to Mike as he teed up.

“If you like,” said Mike, and swung.

WHAACCKK! The ball took off as if it had been shot from a cannon.

Mike held his pose for a moment as he watched it fly out of sight, his long legs in an interesting twist and his magnificent ass turned and tucked in just so. His muscles tensed and bulged under his shorts, which had pulled fairly tightly across the back. I decided I liked golf.

“Holy crap, I think you hit the green,” said Jim, shading his eyes. “This is a freakin’ Par 4.”

“I’m feeling sort of inspired today,” said Mike, and grinned at me.


Nine holes later, I had a moderately bad score, Larry’s stunk to high heaven, and both of the wrestlers were doing fairly well. As Larry hacked and slashed at another sand trap, sending little puffs of dust into the air, Mike leaned on his nine-iron and looked at me.

“Getting tired yet, Annie?”

“Kind of,” I replied, wiping sweat off my forehead as I raised my visor. “I didn’t realize this is such hard work.”

“You’re doing really well for your first time. I’m impressed.”

“Thanks, but I’m bogeying every hole.” I had picked up a lot of golf jargon over the last hour and a half.

Mike shrugged. “Bogeying, sure. Only one double bogey so far.”

“Unlike poor Larry.” He was still slashing, his face red and sweaty. “I’m actually beginning to feel sorry for him.”

“Who wouldn’t?” Mike chuckled as Larry hit the ball out of the sand and onto the green. It rolled clear across and fell over the opposite edge into another trap. Larry bent his sand wedge over his knee and hopped up and down in rage. “He’s taking so long, we might have to wave the next foursome through.”

“What a maroon,” said Jim, taking a drink of water and wiping his mouth. “I swear, I could grow a rose garden in the amount of shit he talks about sports.” Larry, before his score had surpassed his grandfather’s age, had been bragging about his handicap.

“You’re preaching to the converted,” I said.

“So when are you gonna dump him and try dating me?” said Jim, waggling his brows.

“When you settle down and get a real job,” I said, and we all laughed. “At least ‘Buckshaw’ sounds like a normal person, but ‘Gravedigger’? Beating up on each other for a living–now that’s taking money for nothing. You Texas boys would be brawling anyway, and don’t try to deny it.”

“Yeah, but I don’t get to beat up on ‘Digger real often,” said Jim, aiming a kick at Mike’s ass. Mike sidestepped him. “I think he’s about to steal my girl.”

I smiled at Mike, who gave me a slow, sensual grin that curled my toes. “Maybe he is. If he gets an opportunity.” Trying to bounce my ball off my club as I had seen him do, I hit it over my head and lost it in the tall grass.

“Darn.” I poked around for several moments but didn’t see it. Mike came over to help, but it was too well concealed to find.

“Oh, I’ve got another one of these things, so the heck with it.” I had lost one other ball in a water hazard and was down to one out of a box of three.

Larry had finally made his putt, and Jim pulled his ball out of his pocket and put it down in front of his marker. He sank the putt in one stroke and looked at Mike, who was just off the green, on an up-slope between two sand traps.

Mike selected a pitching wedge, took his stance and popped the ball up onto the green. It rolled to a spot six inches from the hole, and once he had tapped it in for par, he wrote down his score with a flourish. “Halfway through. Let’s ride.”

Jim brought the golf cart up and we all got in. Larry was having engine trouble, it seemed, and left his cart where it was, tramping forward with his golf bag on his shoulder. He was bright red and looked as if he was about to drop from sunstroke.

We gladly left him behind and proceeded to the next tee. I hit a long curving shot that struck a tree and deflected into the rough.

“Oh, darn,” I said. “I’m going to have to find that one; it’s my last ball.”

“Go ahead and look for it,” said Mike. “It’s Harry’s turn next, and he won’t be here for a while.” I shrugged and headed up the fairway with a three-iron.

Concealed from the tee, the rough sloped sharply down into a small ravine overgrown with trees. I had no idea where the ball was, as it had taken a glancing path through the branches and could have dropped anywhere.

Thirty feet down at the bottom of the ravine, I thought I saw a glint of white between the grass stems. It might not be my ball, of course. Probably a lot of people lost balls down here. But I had marked mine so I would be able to tell whose it was.

I started down the slope, using my three-iron as a walking stick. The grass felt slippery and damp in the shade. When I stepped on one steep patch, my foot shot out from under me and I fell the rest of the way, losing my club.

Since it wasn’t very far to fall, I was more shaken than hurt, and landed in a sitting position. The ball I had spotted was right in front of me. I nudged aside the grass and checked. It wasn’t mine.

“Rats,” I said, and looked for a good way to get up to the top of the slope again. An overhanging branch above my head provided something to grip, and I stood up, wincing. My bottom was developing a nice bruise.

“You OK?” said Mike’s voice up the hill. “I decided to follow you, and I thought I saw you fall.”

“Yes, you did. I’m fine–it’s just a little hard to get back up.” I grabbed the tree branch with both hands and tried to haul myself up the slope. “I didn’t find my ball.”

“Hang on, Annie. I’ll come down and give you a boost.” Mike took a few sliding steps and landed beside me. “Hey, it’s kind of cosy down here.”

“Oh?” I looked up at him; he was grinning sensually at me again. I loved his full lips, because they looked both luscious and extremely sure of themselves. I had never seen a pair of lips on a man that were so well made for kissing, I thought, and there really wasn’t any way to confirm that other than kiss him. So I did.

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