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Gregg Patterson: Fun Times on the “Fantasy Nine”

POSTED ON September 21, 2023 @ 7:29 pm


I have a dream.

This is the dream of an old geeky guy, a walker and a talker who hasn’t played much golf and what golf he played was really bad.

BUT when he played, the playing was FUN!

This Old Geeky Guy dreams of a golf course called The Fantasy Nine where FUN is delivered in the clubhouse and on the golf course, where the best bits and pieces of conventional golf, pitch and put, miniature golf, Top Golf, adventure golf and after-golf are combined into a delicious recreational stew, a place where the four Big Uglies of golf—too much time, too difficult, too expensive and too little fun—are banished to the dustbin of history.

Fun? Golf? Huh? The serious will scream and the pros will snicker.

Don’t get me wrong.  This Old Geeky Guy celebrates people who love serious golf, who play on world class courses, compete in tournaments, win the Open, master the Masters.  This Old Geeky Guy enjoys walking great golf courses, tagging along with a talented foursome, talking to caddies, exploring the clubhouse, hearing the stories and experiencing the warm embrace that great clubs deliver.

But in his dreams This Geeky Old Guy sees something different———a golf experience that delivers FUN with lots of laughs, lots of yak, a bit of exercise and a smidgin of challenge with a “linger longer” clubhouse energized with an employee team delivering The Warm Embrace.

A Fantasy Nine.

The Wish List

This Geeky Old Guy has a long list of WANTS for The Fantasy Nine.

The Fantasy Team: The Fantasy Nine has a hospitality centric employee team that’s focused on delivering The Buzz, the Love and the Glow, a group of CLUB enthusiasts who deliver The Warm Embrace from the time The Old Geeky Guy arrives to the moment he exits, a team that calls him by name, give him The Big Welcome and asks where he’s been traveling and how well he’s been doing.

There’ll be a front desk staffer who follows-up his online reservation with a chirpy call to confirm the time, the foursome and the club’s emphasis on FUN.

There’ll be a Pro who shouts out the glories of golf, oozes with enthusiasm for the course, encourages The Old Geeky Guy when he’s droopy, sends him notes on his birthdays and emails memory photographs when he’s played.

The Fantasy Nine will be a place where the starter knows and likes The Old Geeky Guy and assembles a fun-focused-foursome that does golf the way fun golf should be played.

The Fantasy Course:  The Old Geeky Guy will be greeted in the Pro Shop by a sign that shouts out “This Is Us”—The Fantasy Nine—Fun, Fast and Social!!!

There’ll be an after-you-arrive-and-before-you-play three minute “Psyche Zone” with meditation, green tea, music and breathing exercises to help distance The Old Geeky Guy from “out there” and prepare him for FUN times “in here.”

The Fantasy Nine will have a warm-up driving range with a FREE bucket of well-used golf balls and dozens of metal targets, a putting green that makes The Old Geeky Guy feel good whenever he putts, a Track Master on every Tee, nine short undulating fairways, a narrow “un-rough” rough, fifteen-inch holes, lots of visual entertainment—plenty of trees, city views, rolling countryside—with lots of SMALL hazards that are “score reduction” targets—puddles, sand traps and metal silhouettes.

The Fantasy Rules:  Linger Time in the clubhouse must equal play-time on the course. Casual “anything goes” dress is permitted and encouraged.  A two point reduction for the “long ball” off the tee.  Three clubs only—player’s choice, carried by hand—no bags allowed.  Speed is a “must do”—tee up fast, walk fast, talk fast, abandon lost balls, toss balls from the traps, the rough and the woods.

More rules.  Golf carts “verboten” unless you plead and weep and offer up your youngest child.  Swings only count if you actually hit the ball.  Unlimited mulligans.  Tee up the ball from anywhere at any time.  Hit one of the hazards—Fat Guy metal targets, sand trap, boulder, mid fairway stumps—and get a one-point reduction.  Find someone else’s lost ball and get a one-point reduction. Place your ball where you hoped it would go, pick your ball up in the middle of the hole, skip a hole if you need a break.

And at the Fantasy Nine, players MUST record interesting stories, bizarro bets, noteworthy characters and bizarro situations on the scorecard to stimulate post-play, hang-time discussion.

The Fantasy Hang:  Linger Time is a BIGGIE at the Fantasy Nine.  Long Time Hang Time will be a “must do” in the club’s “attitude re-adjustment zones” where whatever happened “out there” is replaced by a laugh-at-the-madness bonding opportunity “in here.”  The Fantasy Nine will provide indoor and outdoor “linger locations” with cheapo tables and chairs, offer right-priced comfort food and libations and will energize the spaces with upside surprises—raffles, games, quizzes—to elevate The Laugh Factor during The Linger.

The Fantasy Price: At The Fantasy Nine, prices will be rock bottom CHEAP.   There’ll be special prices for kids, families, old people, first timers, EXTREME high handicappers, highly-entertaining-characters and frequent users.  There’ll be loaner clubs for free, three sleeves of “lose ‘em and forget ‘em” used balls for free, a bucket of junko practice driving range balls for free.  There’ll be Pro Shop goodies at Wal Mat prices, one free “we’ll teach you how to play The Fantasy Nine in thirty minutes” lesson for first timers, value priced lessons for individuals and groups and a free hot dog, diet soda and a cup full of greasy, salt encrusted fries for every nine holes played.


Serious golf is tough, time consuming and hugely frustrating and the journey from Newbie to Accomplished ain’t quick and it ain’t easy.

The Old Geeky Guy knows that Fun Golf can be part of The Golf Adventure.  He dreams of Newbies who’ll start by putting in the living room, graduating to miniature golf, enjoying a few hours of Top Golf, transitioning to Fun Golf, moving on to a conventional nine-hole pitch and putt course and finally graduating to a proper 18-hole course, their enthusiasm for the game of golf growing with each chapter in the journey.

The Old Geeky Guy envisions The Fantasy Nine as an alternative for Newbies and Oldies alike.  Fun.  Social.  Cheap.  Fast.  And hugely entertaining, diverting and energizing!

Dream the dream.

And enjoy the journey…………….

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