When I was in high school, we always went to golf matches in a school van driven by our 75-year-old golf coach. I’m sure many high school golf teams still utilize smaller school vans rather than buses or your own vehicles to get to matches and tournaments. We had a few interesting experiences with our high school van rides that I thought were worth mentioning.
The highway incident: This is the day that I thought my life was really going to end. I had a brief moment where I actually thought it was over. Our coach turned right to get on a highway without paying attention to the signs, and we were headed down the off-ramp towards incoming 70 mph traffic. We’re screaming “coach lookout” from the back seat and luckily he realized what was happening a few seconds before it was too late.
We stopped, turned around on the shoulder and exited the highway. We stopped at the nearest gas station so we could all get out and take a breath. Coach just chilled in the driver seat as if nothing had happened.
Bottoming out: On the driveway headed into the school parking lot, there were these massive speed bumps that for some reason my coach liked to pretend didn’t exist. He would go straight on through these bumps without slowing down, and all of us squeezed together in the back seat would bounce into each other a bit painfully.
This one time towards the end of the season, Coach went over the bumps a little too fast, causing the van to bottom out and break a hole in our muffler. We had our final match of the season the very next day and that van was the only one available, so we drove across town in the loudest vehicle you have ever heard. I may still have hearing damage from that day.
Speeding away: Coach pulled up to the curb at a local course so we could load up our clubs and hop in the van. 5 of the 6 of us put our clubs in the trunk and hopped in the van, leaving the trunk open for the final team member to come out of the bathroom and throw their clubs back there too.
I guess Coach though we were all in the van because he quickly drove away with all of us yelling for him to stop because not only is the trunk with all our bags open, but our teammate is still inside the clubhouse.
The cookie incident: Our coach’s wife always made cookies for our van rides to matches. A player on the team didn’t get along very well with the coach, especially after his performance that day and thought it would be funny to crack open the window of our ’02 Chevy Astro van and drop cookies out the window as our coach sped down the highway. Coach finally saw what was happening out of the rearview mirror and proceeded to scream at us while driving. Unfortunately, that was the end of homemade cookies on road trips.
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