Memorial Day Weekend is the traditional kickoff to Summer, and no outdoor sport benefits more from the change of seasons than golf. I love golf, even when it doesn’t love me back.

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You’re outside in nature, with your buddies, often having a cold beer, getting a little exercise – what’s not to love? I was never what you called a good golfer. My handicap was not a number,but the fact that I basically sucked at golf. That never stopped me from enjoying a good round.

The highlight, or perhaps lowlight, of my golfing career is that I’ve hit two natural birdies.

Once while golfing in Miami Beach, I hooked a fairway shot high into a tree. There was an unusual sounding “THWACK”, the ball flew out at an improbable angle, and landed squarely on the fairway 25 yards away. Something dark fell from high in the tree. I walked to over to see what it was. Under the tree there was an unconscious blackbird with one red eye. He was still breathing, but had kind of a stunned expression on his face. I flagged down a course ranger and turned the care of the bird over to him.

That shot ended up winning me the round.

I’m not sure the bird made it, but if you see a blackbird with an eyepatch on a course in Florida, don’t tell him you know me.

Another time in Los Angeles, I ripped a worm-burner off the tee that skipped across a water hazard like a stone. There were three geese swimming along, minding their own business. The lime green golf ball skipped across the water and hit the center goose right in the butt. It jumped out of the water as if it were ‘goosed’.

I did not expect what would happen next. I took a drop about halfway around the water hazard, and turned around to see three angry geese exit the other side of the pond and begin to chase the nearest golfer, who had no idea what was going on. The poor guy ran across the fairway, clubs flying from his bag, as the three geese chased him on foot, wings a-flapping and squawking loudly. Fortunately for the poor guy, a passing course ranger pulled his golf cart in front of the geese and ended their pursuit.

After I got up off the ground where I had been rolling around laughing, I finished the hole. I guess the moral of the story is, If you are ever on a golf course in L.A. and see a white goose with a lime green golf ball suppository, please don’t tell the Audubon Society, because they might cancel my donation check.

My advice is to try to shoot for birdie the old-fashioned way, and be kind to our feathered friends. But if you ever need a golf cart that might one day save your life from three angry geese, you’re in luck because there are some great buys available through Municibid auction.

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Just remember the immortal words of Chevy Chase and “Be the ball, Danny, be the ball”

…unless that ball is stuck in the butt of an angry goose, which really should go without saying.

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