Thursday, April 25, 2013

My annual golf trip

Every year a group of my college buddies gathers up and heads to Myrtle Beach to golf.  I think this was 28 years in a row.

I started my trip with a stop in Maryland to spend a few days with my mom.  We didn't have any big plans.  We just spent time catching up and doing some odd jobs around the house. We also booked a trip in September to spend 5 days up in Grand Teton National Park sightseeing and as you might expect, taking hundreds of photos.
I left mom on Wednesday and flew to Raleigh.  I got to spend a bit of time with my dad and then my aunt and cousin.  Off the next morning to golf.

Myrtle Beach isn't my favorite NC/SC beach.  It is extremely commercial and very touristy.  I prefer a more relaxed, less crowded area.  Still, if you get up and out early enough in the morning, you can catch some beautiful scenery.
The thing that Myrtle Beach has going for it is golf.  With over a hundred courses to chose from, we always seem to find something different to try.  As you can see from the picture below, by April the courses are already greening up nicely.  This year we played Crowe Creek and the three Legends courses, all of which were in nice shape. I was pleasantly surprised because the southeast had a very cold spring.
We have managed to keep the group very stable over the years.  Our only changes this year were replacing Mark Reid (recently married and living in NY) with Mark Pozefsky, and of course, getting a little older, grayer and slower.
Since we don't have a house in Raleigh any more, I have to find a place to stay.  Jim and Carmella Saunders have been kind enough to provide a bed which makes it easy for Jim and I to drive down together.
Dave is my frequent golfing partner, mostly because we share a bottle or three of Captain Morgan as we play.  We thought it was incredibly fitting that on our first hole, they put a red flag on our cart.  Apparently it meant we were the last group going out for the morning, but we thought it was actually an excellent warning to those golfing around us.
Here we have Lewis hitting out of one of what seemed like hundreds or even thousands of bunkers.  One thing the beach doesn't run short of is sand.  I was lucky to stay out of most of the traps, but that's because they put them where you are trying to hit, and my ball almost never goes that direction.
It was another great trip.  I still suck at golf, but I can try and focus on the one 9 hole stretch where I golfed about as well as I ever have (3 pars, 4 bogies, 2 doubles for a 44 on a very hard course). I guess if I am ever going to improve I will either need to be touched by the hand of God, or at least stop going 9 months without swinging a club.

Julie and I traveled separately, overlapping a few days in Raleigh.  This allowed us to minimize pet care and it didn't make that much sense for her to be there during the four days I was in Myrtle Beach.

One evening we went out to dinner with our friends Anne and Tom Schick.  The waiter, perhaps in a play for an excellent tip, decided it was a nice day to celebrate Julie's 22nd birthday.  Off by 7 months (and several years), was just fine because it meant bringing chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies, right out of the oven.  Yummm!
So I am back in Park City, getting ready for our next trip (Moab, Utah) while Julie spends a few more days in Raleigh hanging out with friends.  I love Park City and don't miss living in Raleigh very much, but I sure do miss seeing our friends and wish we could do it a lot more often.
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