Death, taxes and whiffle golf3/31/2015
The winds of change are billowing. The age of “we” and “us” are gone, and it’s time to look out for No. 1. And there’s no better sport for this than golf.
In conjunction with the City Council, Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie is launching the First Annual Whiffle Golf Classic on April 5. With the recent vote giving each member of the council a substantial pay raise, Cownie and the council felt this might be a novel way to pad their pockets without overtaxing the citizens.
“I wanted to boost my pay, and when I found out the city council members felt the same way, I thought, ‘Why not help each other out?’ ” said Cownie. “The people of Des Moines know exactly what we do for them, so I’m sure they’d have voted yes, too, given the opportunity.”
The course will consist of one hole with a length of 500 yards — roughly the same distance from the house to the tree that de-railed Tiger Woods’ career nearly six years ago.
There will be three divisions. The Laymen Division will start in the skywalk and end in the hole that used to be Younkers downtown Des Moines store. Think bowling with inflated gutters.
“We want as many taxpayers — err, golfers — as possible to participate, and the protection from wind, rain and the size of the hole should accommodate those new to the game without the requirement to have any golfing talent,” Cownie said.
The Fat Cat Division (those with a little experience and a lot of money) will play at a course in the Woodland cemetery. Those city second- or third-generation civic leaders and those with prominent ancestors resting in Woodland cemetery will be allowed to start from their family plot. Members of the Hubbell family are the early favorites.
Participants in this division will face similar obstacles that Woods faced. The hole ends near the crashed-in fence of the cemetery on MLK Parkway.
The Municipal Division is the third division and will be held on Court Avenue in the middle of the season’s first farmers market. At this course, participants will be able to make large donations to “PACs” or vendors selling “Iowa-grown” tomatoes packaged in boxes from Georgia for exorbitant prices.
“We really wanted this event to happen in the heart of Des Moines where those participating could see the city in a new way and really have a good time,” said Councilman Bill Grey.
There has been a little controversy over the location, but the event passed with a 6-0 vote.
“I don’t speak for the city council, but I think the citizens of Des Moines would absolutely support the council’s decision,” said Joe Gatto.
With the high winds and on-again-off-again rain that the city has experienced, there’s no doubt the whiffle balls will be uncontrollable.
“Just imagine, people swinging away trying to hit a ball that weighs as much as a feather,” laughs Christine Hensley. “Folks won’t know whether to be upset with themselves or the ball, but at least they will be distracted from being upset at the mayor and council members.” APRIL FOOLS