Strange encounter on the golf course

Yesterday I played golf with daughter Emily. All was going well (except for the golf) until we were walking to the tee of the final hole and my cell phone rang. It was a mysterious male voice asking where we were.

Against my better judgement, I told the voice our location — on the 9th tee waiting for group of elderly women playing just ahead of us. The voice said, “OK — I have a visual on you just behind the Cotton Tops”. Moments later, two well dressed, but shadowy figures were walking toward us.

As they got closer, they paused for a moment and appeared to be holding hands.

I had a queasy feeling about what was going down. Who were these guys — FBI agents? An Evangelical conversion squad? The IRS? Door-to-door shoulder bag salesmen?

They gave me the creeps and I wanted to run, but Emily was my daughter after all, and I felt I needed to protect her.

So I backed up slowly instead of breaking into a full gallop.

Then they got close enough for me to see their faces.

They identified themselves as resident psychiatrists from the nearby clinic, apparently part of some sort of outreach program designed to identify potential “clients”.

Emily was greatly relieved and played the final hole masterfully.

But their explanation didn’t put my mind at ease one bit. In fact, the whole experience traumatized me. I had nightmares all through the night and now I can’t get those smirky smiles or that voice on the phone out of my head.

And I may never be able to play golf again.

2 thoughts on “Strange encounter on the golf course

  1. As heaLth care dollars dwindle, hospitals must be ever more creative in attracting patients in need. Golf courses seem to be the perfect venues for these outreach programs. Mental issues such as ADD, anger management can be analyzed and dealt with on the spot both to improve well-being which would have the direct result in improving the games of so many underserved golfers.
    These services will prove to be lucritive sources of income for hospitals and psychiatrists as those treated will be happy to pay in cash, freeing these institutions from the constraints of the insurance companies and Medicare.
    Kudos to the Mayo Health System for identifying this needy population and for proving the framework for change. But most of all, thanks to this new generation of psychiatrists who are willing to venture into harms way if only for the betterment of their fellow man.

    • Mr. C,

      Thanks very much for your thoughtful insights on mental health care in the U.S. and one institution’s attempt to train young physicians to try innovative ways of identifying and treating those in need.

      But did you get a good look at these two guys? I’m still having trouble sleeping.


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