Like many, I was first introduced to the game of golf by my father while I was in high school. I have always been just good enough to fool myself into thinking I can be better. I joined my high school golf team my senior year for the free golf, but eventually ended up playing a few matches as the last man on the varsity squad. I promptly got crushed in those matches and was quickly relegated back to the JV squad.
Since that auspicious start, I have managed to maintain a love of the game – even when the game doesn’t return the affection. On one of my frequent visits to the vacation home of my good friend (and co-founder of Fairway Play) Mike Wheelock, I earned my forever golf nickname: Picasso. After years of chronic tall-guy and washed-up-hockey-goalie back problems, I had adjusted my swing so much that it became a Frankenstein monster that looked like a cross between Charles Barkley and Jim Furyk. Fortunately, even though the swing looks more like Barkley’s, the result often looks a little like Furyk’s. A seemingly random, disjointed group of parts came together to form a notable work of art—a Picasso!
It was at Mike’s vacation course that I was introduced to the game of Anamules, and it’s remained a favorite of mine ever since. Anamules is a unique game that can make even a bad golf shot fun. I have the unheard-of distinction of gaining five (FIVE!) Anamules on one swing. While hitting a tee shot (perhaps after enjoying a cold beverage or two), I nearly missed the ball entirely — which would have just resulted in a Bat. Instead, I hit the ball off of the heel of my driver and it dribbled off of the tee box onto some rocks (a Rock Lobster); off the rocks onto the cart path (Armadillo); off the cart path into the branch of a tree (Wood Tick), and off of the tree into the water (Turtle). Because I now had four Anamules on one hole I earned a Horse with that shot as well.
Normally, this type of shot would be infuriating and really destroy a round. But because everyone was playing Anamules, it became a hilariously funny event. Even I was brought to my knees with laughter.
Another beautiful thing about Anamules is that good golf results can lead to good Anamules results. Because my playing partners felt pity for me after my 5-Anamule tee shot, they allowed me to take a mulligan. My next drive was perfectly down the middle and I ended up birdieing the hole which let me give away the Horse. In giving away the Horse, I transferred the Zookeeper role to another player in my group. The new Zookeeper was none too happy when the beverage cart showed up on the next tee box.