I'd Like a Mulligan
"I'd Like a Mulligan"
by Dick Mauer
A few recuerdos back Bob Page mentioned the Calexico Golf Course on Anza Road. When I got out there in 1964 I had my golf clubs with me, although I don't remember being able to play until I passed probation. I never did get used to the summer heat so I was a winter golfer while there. Not that it made any difference because the fairways were parched in the summer and the grass died in the winter. The fairways were decent for about 2 weeks in the spring and 2 weeks in the fall.
The course had 3 holes that paralleled the border fence and the fairway and rough (?) were separated from the border fence only by small concrete canaland the drag road. On the Mexican side of the fence was Kelvinator Village, a line of shacks made of the cardboard of American appliances nailed over a wood frames. These casitas had a 3 inch thick dust road in front of them and a small canal (bath, beach, toilet, etc.) also running along side. There was also a single electric line running the length of the road that allowed each casita to have a light and a television.
In playing the course you were supposed to learn to keep your ball on the left side of the fairways on these holes, but I had a wicked slice at the time (truth be told, still do, only I play it) and my ball was always on the right side on those holes. The chamacos from K.V. had learned to fashion poles 30 to 35 feet in length with a little cup on the end. ( These kids probably invented the golf ball water retriever, if only they had had a way to market it) Anyway they would snake the pole through the fence and snag your ball as you were coming up the fairway. When you finally got up to them you had to negotiate with their leader to get your ball back, usually a quarter. When you smartened up and started hitting old balls with lots of cuts and could laugh at their demand for ransom, you still had to stay away from the fence as they would all pick up rocks to throw. The course was also situated so that if the wind was "right" on the day you played, you could smell the fragrance of the New River.
Sign cutting that west fence in those days was an educational experience. You quickly learned not to give anyone in a crowd over there a half sandwich, fruit, or candy because the ones who didn't get anything, again, picked up a stone. I remember some January mornings with skims of ice on the puddles, with my windows up and the heater on in the scout, watching the K.V. infants running around bare ass. I don't know how they made it?
I wonder if the course is still there? I'd like to go back and play it some day, not to mention taking another run on sign cutting the fence.