Ray shanked the shot, and his ball splashed into a nearby water hazard, startling a pair of ducks that were paddling around on it. He swore loudly, and pulled out his phone.
Two swipes of his finger, and the super-conducting magnets buried beneath the course fished his ball out of the water for him and rolled it back along the ground to his feet. The scorecard automatically docked him a penalty stroke. He picked up the damp ball and wiped it dry on his pants leg.
“You don’t like swimming?” his brother Simon said. In truth, the heat and lack of rain had evaporated the bulk of the pond’s water. Ray could probably have waded in and reclaimed his ball, although the water looked none too clean.
“Your shot,” Ray said. He was flushed from the sun and one too many beers, and he’d left his hat in the clubhouse by accident.
Simon swung and missed the ball entirely, kicking up a huge clod of grass. A groundsman started walking purposefully in their direction.
“We officially suck at this,” Ray said.
“Practice makes perfect,” Simon said, “Assuming we don’t get kicked out first, of course.”
“Remember the first time we played golf?”
“Couldn’t possibly forget it.”
“You found those old cast-off clubs in the city dump,” Ray said.
“It was your idea to climb the fence onto the course.”
“I didn’t force you to come along.” In truth though, Ray had applied a fair amount of verbal pressure.
“You didn’t bail us out after either,” said Simon. They both started chuckling.
“We haven’t really improved much since then, have we?” said Ray.
The groundsman finally reached them. “Please be careful with your swing,” he said, indicating the broken clod of grass.
“It’s okay,” said Ray. “Don’t worry about it.”
“It takes a lot of effort to keep the grass looking nice in this weather,” said the groundsman, emphatically.
“No seriously, don’t worry about it,” said Simon. “We just bought the course.”