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Teaser for Golf Course Architecture Vol. 6 – Mike Strantz and Bulls Bay

I’m thrilled to announce I’ll have not one, but two chapters in a new book by Paul Daley and Full Swing Publishing called Golf Course Architecture Vol. 6. I’ll be writing chapters on Bulls Bay and Lawsonia. PAul said it was okay to run some teasers, so here is the first:


In the zaniest, most madcap moment I’ve ever seen on a golf course, Titleist the Bull got loose from his tether during the first day of the 2007 Hootie and the Blowfish Collegiate Invitational and roamed the golf course for twenty minutes.

“Apparently he got stung right on the nose by a wasp,” said spectator Mike Adams. “All of a sudden he was rubbing his nose on the ground and on the tree where he’s tied, and then he was rolling around on the ground snorting. He is normally totally mild-mannered and tame, but he just got agitated when he got stung.”

Titleist then pulled his mooring rope out of the ground with his mouth and took off like Usain Bolt. Scoring official Bobby Wilson also saw the whole thing unfold. “One minute Titleist was fine, and the next he was haulin’ ass down the fairway dragging his tethering rope behind him.”

As you might imagine, golfers became track stars in an instant. North Carolina State player Chase Duncan – appropriately named for this misadventure – met Titleist up close and personal.

“I was lining up a nine inch putt for par on 17 and my playing partner [Mark Silvers from South Carolina] said ‘Holy s—!’ I looked up and it’s running over the hill, about a hundred yards away from us and closing fast. So we start walking slowly in the opposite direction, but the bull made eye contact with me! I just saw the movie ‘Jackass Number 2′ where Johnny Knoxville gets knocked into next week by a bull, and here I am with no rodeo clown and gate to jump over. All I remember next was thinking about those massive horns, so I bolted,” he explains in between laughs. “Thankfully the bull slowed down and turned away into the woods. Now I still have a nine inch putt and I’m still petrified. I never shook over a nine inch putt like that in my life.”

Silvers was equally incredulous over the situation. “My girlfriend is here with me. While Chase was putting, I saw the bull running loose and pointed it out to her, laughing. She asked me if it was a big dog. Then I putted and made my putt” he continued. “When I took my ball out of the hole, I looked up and suddenly he’s coming right at us and here I am in a red shirt! I’m a prime target. We ran. It kept getting closer and closer, it’s a freakin’ bull and it’s huge!” he said, grabbing his sides laughing as he later explained the situation in the clubhouse. “But I finished with two birdies, one after having my life flash before my eyes. Golf didn’t seem quite so serious after that.”

“That happens occasionally” said one member turned ersatz animal handler. “He gets free sometimes, but Titleist is completely docile. He loves people and being ridden, so it’s fine. Besides, the winner has to ride him in order to collect his trophy.”

Others were equally amused. “What do we do if he makes eye contact?” asked one Florida State player.

“If he looks like he means business, be up a tree when he arrives,” I explained laconically.

“And what about you?” he asked.

“I’ll be on the branch above you,” I replied.
Titleist got one of the biggest ovations of the day from the gallery as he was led back to his post near the sixteenth green. The bull had no comment.