Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Final Leg of The Journey to St. Andrews

It has been over a month since my last post. Life has been extremely busy. We had a one-week family vacation in Montauk, which is on the tip of Long Island in New York. We rented a house on right on the Montauk Downs golf course. Montauk Downs is a New York public golf course that is one of the top 50 public courses in the United States. We were on the 13th fairway, which is a par-5. We had a few balls land in the pool and one or two hit on the rocks close to the patio, but we did sustain any injuries. The weather was unbelievably great. The high temperature ranged between 75 and 78 degrees the entire week and we hardly saw a cloud in the sky. The two weeks before we arrived were hot and rainy and since we left, New York and the rest of the East Coast is experiencing a very severe heat wave. It was over 100 degrees a couple of days ago.

I played two rounds at Montauk Downs. The first round I almost ran out of golf balls and quit after the 16th hole, which is in easy walking distance of the house. A lot of the lost golf balls would have fallen under the "lost in plain sight" rule, but I also lost quite a few in the woods and water. I played from the black tees, which are just under 7,000 yards with a course rating of 75.3 and a slope rating of 141. It was clearly too much golf course for me. The second round was much better. I moved up to the blue tees, which were about 6,600 yards with a course rating of 73.2 and a slope rating of 132. I did not keep my score because I hit some extra shots but I only lost one golf ball and I had two birdies! The guy I played with was a slower player than even me.

As soon as I got home, I started to get ready for Scotland. The "World Of" is traveling across the pond for 13 rounds of links golf in 9 days, including 4 Open Championship courses -- St. Andrews Old Course, Turnberry Ailsa, Royal Troon Old Course and Muirfield. We are also playing a lot of other great links courses, including, Western Gailes Links, Royal Troon Portland Course, Gullane Golf Club and 3 of the other courses in the St. Andrews Links Trust golf complex. In addition to the cold weather, rain and wind (all of which are part of the links golf experience), the biggest issue for me is footwear. We will be walking 18 or 36 holes each day. I am trying out my four pairs of golf shoes to determine which are the most comfortable. You have to take at least two pairs because of all the rain. I also read at least one memo that said playing some golf in sneakers is not a bad idea. So I am keeping that in mind. SO bought me so much paraphernalia for my feet that it will take me about an hour to get ready each morning -- socks with extra padding, spray-on blister protector, callous remover, callous protectors, refreshing peppermint foot cream, Dr. Scholl's gel inner soles, and on-and-on. Everything else is ready. Of course there will be no shorts on this trip and because I am such a weather wimp, I will be wearing my Under Armour ColdGear shirt, then my long-sleeve rugby shirt, then a sleeveless wind jacket and much of the time, my hopefully waterproof (not water resistant,Mrs. Pavin) rain gear.

I have delegated most of my work to Chad Feldheimer and I am hoping that I will still have clients when I return from Scotland. I am ready to go!