Sedona, AZ Seven Canyons Golf Club 7/3/2012
Something that everyone should know about Sedona, that is if you’re ever planning a trip there, is the area has the absolute worst 3G cell service imaginable. It’s more like 1A. I know, I know. You’re on vacation, put the phone down and enjoy yourself. I hear that all the time when I’m not on vacation, but the truth is I love my phone. I love the technology, I love the constant stream of information and I love the quick interactions with my friends via text messages or tweets through twitter.
I was a little bummed that I wasn’t able to share some of my vacation with my friends & family via updates through my phone because the “loading” wheel was forever in motion. Nothing worked. I mean nothing. The resort we stayed at had WiFi but it was awful, I swear I heard my phone making the old beeps and swirly noises we all used to hear when our phone modems use to start-up.
That added some grit to my level of frustration when I was at Seven Canyons. There is ZERO cell service once you get out-of-town and are further back in the canyon. I mean NONE, no bars. Can you hear me now? Nope! It didn’t bug me until after I was done playing. I hadn’t planned on using my phone for anything other than the GolfShot app. I knew without any service the ClubSG app was worthless so I never even opened that app up. I really needed to use my phone when I was done with the round though and that’s where I’ll pick the story back up.
The group that I met up with on the 4th hole was a pleasure to play with. I’m always concerned when joining a group that I’m going to be looked at as “Oh Hell, not THAT guy.” but they welcomed me into their group and I really enjoyed playing with them.
When we finished they asked me if I could snap a few photos for them with the picturesque mountains looming in the background and then we all headed off to the parking lot. It was nice to be able to drive right up to my vehicle and unload right there rather than having to haul my stuff across the parking lot like you have to at other courses.
I pulled my bag off; got my phone, grab my back up balls from their spot in the cart. Make sure I didn’t leave anything in the basket behind the seats. Double checked the little pockets in the cart to make sure I didn’t leave anything behind and grabbed my scorecard. I finished off my water and then opened up my bag to grab my keys. That’s pretty much my routine EVERY time I finish a round of golf. This time though, one crucial element was missing, my keys.
It would have been real easy to have wrapped up my story about Seven Canyons yesterday and left it at that, but what took place after I realized my keys were MIA I think is a note worthy story. Some things, no matter how embarrassing they can be, are just worth telling.
My first thought was “OK, check again, they have to be here, your truck is here.” I went through my bag again, and again and a fourth time. No keys. The panic began to set in now. They only thing that I could think of that had happened was that I had somehow lowered the lift-gate to the Suburban and the keys were inside the truck. I peered in through the window and couldn’t see anything. There was a chance they were in there though. Once while loading groceries I didn’t realized I had set down my keys on the rear scuff plate as I was unloading the shopping cart and when I was done I hit the button to lower the gate. Just as it shut I saw the keys and tried to stop the door but it had gone too far and they keys were locked inside. No biggie. I grabbed my phone, dialed OnStar and in a matter of 3 minutes I was back on the road.
ONSTAR I thought! Yes! Then I remembered no cell service. I headed up to the clubhouse and asked if I could use the phone. The staff inside was great and let me use one of their offices to make the call. The lady at OnStar was more than helpful, as they always are, and said it would take a few minutes to get the doors opened. I walked back out to the car and waited, and waited and waited, nothing.
A few minutes later the lady that let me use the phone came outside and was hollering “Mathew, we have a phone call for you.” I went back inside and it was OnStar on the other end. She was telling me that the unlock attempt had failed and wanted to know if I wanted to try another attempt. “YES!” of course I did. Well to shorten up the story a bit the same thing happened two more times. After that failed third attempt, OnStar said they were sending out a Tow Truck to do an on-site manual unlock and they would be there within the hour.
After that phone conversation I asked if I could use a cart and go retrace my steps from the practice range to the course and back. The Practice facility at Seven Canyons is a true five-minute drive from where you pick your cart up and then another five-minute drive back to where you were to get to the first tee. I had plenty of time to think things over and nothing made sense at all! Where in the hell could the keys have gone?
A trip around the course and a visit to the practice facility turned up nothing and I was back at the parking lot where my truck was. The employees at the cart area were great. All of them offered to help me in one way or another. One of them even offered to call AAA and use his “get a friend out of trouble” card to help me get back in to town with the truck. I respectfully declined and let him know that OnStar was working on it for me. That was really cool to see. After that exchange I went inside grabbed my clubs and emptied out my bag for what I believe was the tenth time. As much as I didn’t want to do it, it was time to make the call. I had to let my wife know what was going on.
That’s not an easy call to make and believe me I did not want to make it! Before that call I was wreck. The only thing going through my head was how much the tow bill was going to be to get it to a dealership and then get a new key made. Worse part was it was going on 6pm the day before a Holiday and we had A LOT planned for the next day. There was a good chance that I was going to be without a vehicle for two days while on vacation. I was going to have to get a rental car and deal with an irate wife for the next several days. It wasn’t looking good for me.
Luckily for me my darling, lovable and beautiful wife packed the extra set of keys. One crisis averted. I didn’t help me much in my current situation but it was nice knowing that at least one of the keys to the truck was a simple 15 minute drive away.
There was still no sign of the tow truck driver yet. I was hoping that as soon as I got inside the truck the keys would have been right there and this whole thing would have been over. So in an attempt to make some good use of my time I went over to the putting green and just putted for about 30 minutes until the tow truck showed up.
It took him about 5min to open it up and with very little surprise the keys were nowhere to be found. The driver was kind enough to offer me a ride back into town and after getting the keys and an earful of disappointment from my better half I hopped in a cab and made my way back to Seven Canyons.
Interesting fun fact moment: Did you know that it’s not uncommon for a “lady friend” or better said a mistress to request a cab ride all the way back to Las Vegas from Sedona, which is a 4.5hr drive. I was shocked! Apparently when things don’t go the way the mistress had planned for them to go, they are quick to call a cab to get the heck out of Sedona and head back home. I was told it happens a lot more than you would think. Now you all know.
The cabbie dropped me off and I use the keys to get in the truck the legit way. I had tossed my clubs in the front seats once the tow truck driver was able to get in, so I grabbed them and popped the hatch. Still hoping to find the keys wedged somewhere out of eye sight I started poking all over the place but it was useless. They were nowhere to be found.
I picked up my bag and loaded the clubs in the back and I don’t know why but I decided to check again one more time. I pulled everything out of each pocket and checked one last time. Nope, nope, nope and no- wait a minute, what the hell was this. I don’t know if was the angle the bag was lying at, flat in the back of the truck instead of upright, but as I ran my hand through the empty pocket my fingernail got caught on a tiny tear in the fabric. I stuck my finger in the hole and violently ripped it big enough to fit my hand in and you’ll never believe what was in there. Yep, it was them, my keys.
So that is how my OGIO bag let me down.
I really considered emptying out all the clubs and turning the bag upside down, which would have save me a TON of grief, but I thought there was no way the keys fell inside the club area. I never even once considered that a hole may have formed from the stitching coming apart from the inside of one the pockets. Hell, this was an OGIO bag, not an unknown run of the mill K-Mart special. I paid good money for that bag and now I’m turned off every time I see my other OGIO golf bag and my OGIO backpack that I use every day.
So that’s my embarrassing tale. The last time I played a round with my buddy Dan he was talking to someone and he said “That’s why I have this little bag, everything goes in it and I always know where it is at.” At the time I thought, that’s a good idea, but I never did anything about it. Not anymore, I have my little gadget bag now and it’s not leaving my bag, EVER! Well that’s not entirely true as soon as I can find a replacement for that large soon to be paper weight of an OGIO bag in my garage it will be gladly moved to another one! Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m all ears!