My golfguy always says, “Life is easy. Golf is hard.” And with my game, I’ve never been able to dispute that.
But when I was struck down by the flu and a viral infection recently, I saw things in an even more depressing light — Life became hard and golf, impossible. Oh joy!
Being trapped inside a framework of festering fungus (I’m starting to sound like David Feherty), it was maddening that I couldn’t work on the computer or even read a book; the words became a jumble of letters my brain could not decipher (but hey… you gotta love those drugs! ;)).
So, the only thing left for me to do was stare at the boob tube. Thankfully with golf in high season, tournaments abounded on our PVR. And while I watched players hit shots I could only dream of, my mind started to replay some of my past golf adventures and made me realize that life really isn’t hard – it’s just too damn short!
So I decided that I would take the opportunity to do nothing, and instead of moan and groan, I would start to plan some future golf getaways I could enjoy with my golfguy, before I kicked the proverbial golf bucket. I let my mind wander…
I recalled my golf buddy talking about her upcoming trip to Spain when I started watching the Madrid Masters and it made me want to get on a plane and fly to España. I love so many of the Spanish golfers and so to golf in Spain where my heroes walk the links would be a dream come true for me.
I could almost picture myself strolling down a fairway in Malaga and smelling the faint whiff of Jimenez’s just lit cigar…
Or peaking around a dogleg to watch Sergio scissor-kick through the air to see where his ball may have landed after yet another miraculous shot from the trees (And, yes, I do believe Sergio will bounce back this year after his heartbreak of 2009 and ensuing depression – there’s just too much fire that flat belly!)…
Thinking of Spain made me recall Seve’s knee-weakening smile…
…and the boyish charm of powerhouse Alvaro ‘please pass me a razor’ Quiros.
Yes, the Spanish are a feisty lot — not always appreciated by some, but I just love the passion they bring to the game and to life.
Spain has everything one could want in a golf vacation – championship courses, world class golfers, gorgeous weather and scrumptious wineries. I can’t imagine why it’s taken me so long to visit there.
So as I lay in bed planning my retirement travels, I bookmarked a month out of the next 30 years to explore the links on Spain, throwing in some golf in Portugal for good measure. I haven’t picked all the courses that I will play, but I’ll give a lot of attention to the ones chosen for professional events like the 6 courses on the European Tour this year and, of course, I can’t forget Valderrama – host to the 1997 Ryder Cup, where Jimenez first tasted RC action as one of Seve’s vice captains.
Speaking of Ryder Cups, watching the RC-wannabes flock to Wales for this week’s Wales Open has been fun. It brought back memories of a press conference I attended last year at Sahalee, where they announced the 2010 US Senior Men’s Open (I can’t wait to attend that major in July).
At lunch I had the honor to share a table with of some of the founders of Sahalee Country Club and Ken Still – a 3-time PGA winner and 1969 Ryder Cup player who was full of zest and stories for his captivated audience. I had to ask him how he felt about playing the Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale in 1969.
“Biggest thrill I ever had was playing the Ryder Cup. The whole experience – the whole week was hard to describe….majestic! I remember my first tee shot. Trevino and I were partners. When they called, ‘Team USA, fire away please!’, I said to Lee, ‘I think I’m going to whiff it.’ And do you know what he said? He said, ‘Whiff the son of a bitch and let’s get out of here!’ So I hit the ball and it went 280 yards right down the middle.”
Haha! Sitting there listening to Ken, it felt like it was just yesterday for him. So, then I asked him what he thought of today’s Ryder Cups versus those in his day. Did he like the rambunctious nature of today’s matches and crowds? Well, I’m happy to report that he just loves it! It was great to hear him share his enthusiasm of Boo Weekly’s giddy-up at Valhalla. But, I was surprised to hear him say he thinks Wales will be even more raucous and noisy. Now I wish I had tickets :-(.
Ken was 74 years old at the time we met and was still loving teaching golf. He had 6 lessons already lined up for the next day. I sure hope I’m full of his vim and vigor when I’m his age. Heck, I’d like to have it today!
I’m just about ready to keel over from being awake for more than 4 hours, but before I go, I want to share with you something I learned at a weekend golf getaway I attended recently with 20+ other golfgals. GOLF =
So, although I whine and moan about how unfair it is to be sick during peak golf season, I really am grateful to have the opportunity to learn this wonderful sport and have fun doing it with my golfguy and all my golfgal buddies. I just like to rant and rave sometimes. Hey, maybe there is a little Sergio or Seve in me after all 😉