John Alyn’s job as a government administrator in Miami-Dade County presumably requires a fair bit of maturity and restraint. But when he arrives at the golf course, Alyn clearly checks these traits somewhere between his car door and the first tee. He likes to handle losing bets by telling his unfortunate vanquisher, “You’re in the books.” And his relationship with the rule book is generally regarded as an uneasy one.
Alyn’s arch rival on the course is John Walker, an assistant principal in Miami who fancies himself a big hitter and who likes to talk a lot of smack. Invariably, over the course of a round, Walker’s gift for gab and Alyn’s more sullen nature clash. Sometimes their arguments build to a crescendo late in the round, as the bets are on the verge of being won and lost.
One such day took place at Normandy Shores Golf Course near Miami Beach a few years back. Alyn went low on the front that round, shooting near par. But as the back nine progressed, he seemed to develop a sense of amnesia as to the procedures for a proper drop from a lateral water hazard.
Walker, of course, wasn’t having any of it, and by the time Alyn reached the tee on 17, a tough 200 yard par 3, Walker’s persistent questioning had his rival on tilt.
When Alyn topped his tee shot into the water in front of tee, he didn’t need to search far to find who he was going to blame for the shoddy swing. He screamed at Walker as he reached for a second ball and kept up the barrage as he finished off a routine double bogey 5.
But Walker wouldn’t be the final recipient of Alyn’s rage.
On the par 5 18th Alyn pulled-hooked his tee ball, finding water once again. Suddenly a crack rang out that was so loud that the lone caddie in the group that day would later compare it with cannon fire.
There was a brief silence, then everyone looked back to see Alyn standing on the cart path with his severed driver shaft. The explosion was the sound of titanium swung fiercely into asphalt. The reverberation, well, that was the driver head, flying wherever it needed to fly.
Undaunted, Alyn jumped into his cart and raced forward some 50 yards beyond where his ball entered the hazard, where he unapologetically prepared for yet another highly dubious drop.