The Rain Stopper

A few weeks ago, I visited fellow classmates in Indonesia who had graduated with me from the San Diego Golf Academy . We decided to play a tournament at a course suggested by one of my friends, Michael. Our tee off was scheduled at 6:30 in the morning. Besides the early tee-off time it’s an hour ride to get to Damai Indah Golf & Country Club. I know it’s early, but we are talking about golf and since it’s to play a round of golf I didn’t have a problem to get out of bed at the crack of dawn (maybe it was before the crack of dawn….).

During the drive to the course, it started to rain, just a little so I figured, “no problem”. But then the drizzle gotstronger and stronger until we are talking heavy rain. ( More like what you could call pre-monsoon. Dark, wet and ugly.)

Have you ever been stuck on a course in heavy rain ? If it happens while you are playing a competition it’s impossible to quit; unless you are an uneducated golfer with no etiquette. That scenario is a nightmare shared by more than a few golfers and organizers. Now halfway to Damai Indah I started to get a bit worried. Two miles down the road the big storm his us, a monster storm; so big the highway started to flood. Half mile farther, a car was turned over… I meekly asked my buddy who had organized the outing,  “We’re not going to play under this rain, right?”

His calm reply was,  “Don’t worry we have rain stoppers in Indonesia.”  I silently thought to myself, “Rain stoppers? Of course…, rain stoppers….What an idiot I am, of course, they have rain stoppers.” It’s still early and my mind wasn’t working too clearly yet – not on three hours of sleep.

We passed a second car which had turned over on its back and lay across two lanes. Now, I am started to wake up a little. “A rain stopper? How does that work? Does he really think it’ll stop this storm?” As if reading my thoughts, Michael responds, “Yes and this golf course has one of the best rain stoppers in the region.” He adds, “But the best one is at Cenkgareng (a course we had played the day before)”.  I hadn’t seen anything yesterday – of course it wasn’t raining then. I’m thinking aloud, “What could they throw up in the sky to stop this ? “

We finally arrived at Damai Indah.

Michael informs me, “The Rain Stopper.” “He’s going to pray for us.”

I stared at my good friend, sure he was making fun of me. But after a few moments, the sun started to peek out from the dark clouds overhead. The Rain Stopper was working!

On Indonesian courses, there is a Rain Stopper rating system, indicating which priest is does the best job (kind of like a handicap) . Since Damai Indah Golf Club  is a Jack Nicklaus course (always a sign of serious business…), I imagined that we  do indeed have a very good Rain Stopper and considered that it might it might actually work.

As we got ready and headed out to the first tee, the rain stopped. More amazingly, it looked liked it only stopped around the course perimeter.We teed off on time, and played the whole round under dry conditions ! For the whole eighteen holes, I didn’t see one drop of rain!.

We finished our competition, showered, had a bite to eat and headed back in the car to drive back home. Walking to the car, drops started to hit our head. In the car and driving back, the rain started again and before we got back to our hotel it was coming down stronger than when we had been on the road earlier in the day.

Many cultures have Rain Makers – so why not a Rain Stopper for golfers?

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Anita Renaud March 30, 2010

Not bad to have these rain stoppers all over golf courses..let it rain during the night!!


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