Here is a picture of the real Chuck Connors just so you’ll know what Chuck Owens looked like.
All unpublished manuscripts should be considered FICTION weather true or not
Big Chuck on 18
John was playing Lakeshore Hills Golf Course in Olathe, Kansas with his friend and employee Chuck Owens. Chuck was a soft spoken tall fell. He was six foot seven inches tall, and would remind most people of Chuck Connors (The Rifleman). John always found that it was ironic that the two men looked and sounded so much alike, and both were named Chuck.
Another interesting thing about Chuck was that he was incredibly strong. Not only did John own the roofing company where Chuck worked, but John had pretty much worked hard labor jobs the majority of his life, and John had known many strong men. But Chuck took the cake for working strength. An example of Chuck’s incredible strength was when roofing materials were delivered to a job site one day, but the tear off had not been completed, so the company delivering the materials could not load the roof.
I need to make sure everyone fully understands what this means. This was a 26 square roof. That means that in order to cover it with roofing it would take 104 of the 90 pound architectural shingles, plus five rolls of felt paper weighing 90 pounds each, plus 100 pounds of nails, and other miscellaneous materials to re-roof this house. That’s approximately 10,280 pounds. After the tear off crew removed the old roof, then Chuck had to load these materials onto the roof.
As stated earlier, Chuck was 6 foot 7 inches tall and the typical front edge of a ranch style house’s roof is 8 foot high, and to the peak on an 8 pitch room would be about 16 feet from the ground. I know this is somewhat technical and probably a little confusing, but what is important for you to know if that Chuck loaded this roof by throwing the materials up on the roof in about an hour. He first loaded a portion of the materials into the back of his pickup, then stood in the bed and threw the materials onto the roof, then went up on the roof and scattered the materials around so they would not cause a roof collapse. Then he reload his pickup to do it again. What this meant was that he had to handle the 10,000 pounds three times, not just once. This was an incredible feat in itself, but what multiplies this feat even further is that by the end of the day, the entire roof was finished. This 42 year old man had loaded the roof, spread the materials over the roof and roofed the entire 28 squares in about seven hours all by himself. Amazing!
So back so our golf story. John and Chuck had pretty much completed their round and were ready to tee off on the 18th. The 18th was 210 yards with a very steep uphill approach and a road that ran along the left side of the narrow fairway. John had played Lakeshore Hills many times, and knew how he liked to play the 18th. He was afraid of the road on his left and the vehicular traffic on that side, so he always aimed a little right of the green. John usually played his Five Wood on this hole. Normally he landed pin high to the right of the green, chipped on, and was hopefully landed his ball close enough to one putt for par.
Since Chuck was 6 foot 7 inches tall and John was 5 foot 8 inches tall, they had totally different views of the 18th. John hit a nice straight shot, but thought it was his usual pin high and to the right since he lost the ball in the setting sun, but Chuck thought the ball went over the green. When they got up to the green both men looked around on the ground where they thought they’d find the ball. But with no luck.
Lakeshore Hills was a very inexpensive course and the condition of the course of was mediocre at best. Green fees were only $12 for 18 holes. Because of the course condition “Winter Rules” were pretty much mandatory. The course was also out in the country with an over abundance of wildlife. It was not uncommon to see rabbits, gophers, squirrels, chipmunks, hawks, wild turkeys, deer, an occasional fox, and any number of bird varieties. This added to the charm of Lakeshore Hills, but it also added to problems of holes, ruts and burrows in the fairway, critters that would literally run out and steal the balls, and lots of obstacles with fallen tree limbs (or even trunks), walnuts, hedge apples and other debris that golfers had to deal with. It was not uncommon to know where your ball had gone, but when the golfer got up to that point, they would not be able to find it. The terrain was uninviting as well. It dropped hard right or hard left depending on which hole is was and the fairways were full of rocks. A golfer could hit a ball right down the middle of the fairway, hit a rock, and bounce out of bounds. Because of this most players used the motto of “Play it where it was”, rather than “Play it where it lies”. If players couldn’t find the ball, all involved would agree where it should be played from. At this point they gave themselves a free drop without a penalty stroke and continued playing.
On the day in question Chuck and John agreed that he should drop his ball (on the 18th) where he normally hit it to. They were assuming some critter had stolen John’s ball. John took his shot and chipped his ball into the hole for a birdie. Then Chuck chipped his ball onto the green and the two went up to the green for Chuck to putt out. After Chuck putted out he went to get both his and John’s balls out of the cup. Chuck began to laugh then pulled three balls from the cup. He looked at John and announced,
“Well this is quite a feat. A hole in one and a birdie on the same hole.”
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