Every golf course pro shop needs at least four things: A likable person at the counter, a varied collection of golf balls for those who need to buy an emergency sleeve at the turn, good hot dogs at the grill and a Lost and Found Department.

When people turn in their golf carts after a round and stomp off to their cars so mad they could spit, they often leave things in the cart. Important things. Wallets. Cell phones. Watches. Rangefinders. Personalized golf balls. Importantly, unopened packages of Twinkies. 

The folks who clean the carts and get them ready for the next wave of players probably could retire if they kept the post-round booty from the little four-wheelers. 

I can testify to this craziness from personal experience. After a round not so long ago, I left my car keys on the roof – yes, on the roof – of the golf cart. Don’t ask questions.

I had ridden to the course with someone else, so we tossed our clubs into the car and dissected the round as we drove home, approximately 35 miles away. Upon arrival, I discovered that I didn’t have my car keys. 

After a quick round of questioning my mental acuity, we started work on the problem. A quick run-through of the day’s events reminded me I had left the keys on the roof of the cart as I emptied my pockets of tees and ball markers and such. Quick call to the pro shop. No, they hadn’t been turned in. The kind guy at the counter (yes, they meet that requirement) said he would have the cart cleanup crew do a search. Meanwhile, we jumped back in the car for the aggravating return to the course.

The keys still were missing when we arrived, but, remarkably, my playing partner remembered the number on the side of the cart we were using. We began a search for the cart, figuring it was parked inside the cart shed. No. Turns out it was out on the course, serving players who kept their car keys in their pockets.

One of the cart attendants jumped in a cart and zipped out in pursuit of cart No. 38. Against all odds, he not only ran down the cart, but also the keys actually were still on top of it, in the gutter that runs around the edges.

He retrieved the keys, gave a quick explanation to the startled players who probably figured a true dummy was in the cart before them and triumphantly returned to the pro shop to hand the keys to me.

It was a goofy story with a happy ending. 

Do everybody on the course a favor and check all pockets and bins on your cart before heading home after a round. Take everything that isn’t pinned down. Leave nothing, not even those half-eaten Payday bars.

And be sure to check the roof.