Friday, September 22, 2006

It's the Ryder Cup!

Starting at 3:00am this morning, the USA faced off against Europe in the 36th Ryder Cup Matches, being played at the K Club in Kildare, Ireland. The United States is trying to take the trophy away from the Europeans who whipped the Americans last time at Oakland Hills. After the first day, Europe is up 5-3 over the USA. Who cares, right? Well, it's golf and for those of us who partake, it's a sickness and we can't get enough of it.

You may note on my perpetual to-do list that it is my goal to get my golf score down into the 90's by the time I turn 40. That gives me little more than 15 months to make that goal. Earlier this week, with my wife and son away at the beach, I was able to stop at a local golf course, which I play frequently, on my way home to play golf in the fading daylight. I matched my personal best on the course, shooting 45 for nine holes. My main problem is inconsistency, i.e., one good shot, followed by several bad ones. There are many kinks in my game, but the main thing is that I am having fun on the course.

Upon arriving at the beach, I announced that my main objectives for my Rehoboth vacation was outlet shopping (tax-free in Delaware) and golf. I had done a little research and located a few good public courses close by and inexpensive. My game is not such that I need to be paying through the nose for greens fees.

So this morning, I headed off to the Old Landing Golf Course, a beautiful course that is very forgiving. Wide open, just a little water and not too many trees. (But somebody will still need to explain to me why I lost four balls over the course.) Upon arriving at the course, I paid my greens fees, picked up my key for the golf cart (I'm on vacation, I didn't want to walk) and headed for the first tee. It was a beautiful day here in Delaware, although a little chilly on the beach I was told. So I teed it up and sent it down the fairway (to the right side, but that too, is not unusual). The course was empty. I teed off in front of a foursome, caught up to a single who let me play through, passed a threesome on the turn, and then caught a twosome on the back, who let me play through again. The best part about playing golf is doing it quickly. I managed to get around 18 holes in just over two hours. By comparison, weekends on a public course at home can set you back four or five hours.

I suppose it could be said that I got around rather quickly because I did not have to take as many swings as I normally do. On a course I had never played before, playing by myself so I had no on-course advice, I managed to shoot 101. On the leaderboard of any normal golf tournament, that would put me down near the bottom at +30. I would most certainly not make the cut to play on the weekend. But as I said earlier, the goal is did I have fun - and I did.

Plus, since I managed to get around so quickly, I stopped at the outlets on my way home. Mission(s) accomplished.

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