I was scratching my head trying to figure out what to write about when a friend and fellow blogger suggested that I write about one of my favorite vacations. That was a wonderful suggestion and I am going to do that, but I will with a series of hopefully short stories recounting moments from vacations.
Today’s vacation story will be about Golf at Disney World, on the Magnolia Course. It will allow me to talk about me and golf, I l LOVE GOLF, I LOVE GOLF, oh by the way I LOVE GOLF. And I suck at golf. I don’t suck bad, but I suck. I putt pretty good and my short game is almost fair, but I suck at golf. From the time I discovered golf (1969), it has been a passion, it has been a love hate relationship at best, and I played every opportunity I have been given. But COPD made me give up golf and don’t play anymore except on my XBOX360. But between 1969 and 2011, I suspect I have played close to 1000 rounds of golf. It truly is amazing that you can do something wrong so often and still love it.
Today I am going to start with the story of the 1st time I played golf at Disney World in Orlando Florida. During one of our families many trips to Florida to visit Steph’s Mom, we decided to take a brief mini vacation to Disney World. The trip was for 3 days and 2 nights, and we were going to squeeze as much as possible in during this mini-vacation. My wife tolerates my love for golf and agreed to let me play one day of the 3 days. I managed to get a tee time for the Magnolia Golf Course. I have/had seen the Magnolia on television numerous times. To my knowledge this is the only course I have played on that has hosted a PGA event, heck it’s the only course to my knowledge that I have played to host any PGA event. I don’t remember how much it cost to play, but I am sure it was a small fortune, and it was a one-time shot. It was a mid-weekday, the weather forecast called for showers in the morning and sunny in the afternoon. My tee time was no later than 830, I got up kissed Steph and Allison and I was off to breakfast and golf. I arrived at the course at least an hour before my tee time, because that’s the way I am. I was told by the starter that I had been paired up with 2 other tourist and because it was non season we wouldn’t be pushed at all. I was cool with that and waited patiently. Soon I was introduced to my partners for the round. They were tourist just like me, but they were from Japan. They didn’t speak a word of English and they weren’t any more interested in learning English than I was Japanese. It was going to be a very quiet round of golf. As we made our way to the 1st tee the rain began. Just like any other Florida rain, the first several drops come quick and hard, followed immediately with torrential rains. Over the next 2 and a half hours it rained like hell, no lightning or thunder, just a steady pounding rain, sometimes it rained in hurricane force, or monsoon, even in Noah like proportions. The cart was covered and offered some protection, my bag had a cover that afforded a tiny level of protection for my clubs, but with the winds, trying to use an umbrella was just stupid. But because this was a one-time shot, I was determined to play thru, the only way I was going to stop is if the course marshal came and told me the course was closed and I had to leave, and then I was going to argue.
My Japanese friends were just as determined to complete the round of golf as I was, we doggedly continued. By the way, I started this off saying how I sucked at golf. Folks my 2 Japanese friends made me look like Tiger Woods. The course played to about 6600 yds. from the white tees and par 72. In the monsoon conditions I shot a 58 on the front 9 which included a birdie on the 3rd hole. I lost 2 golf balls to water hazards and felt like I had just won the US OPEN. As I have said time and again it was raining, God was it raining. Everything I own was wet, my shoes were like little boats of water, you could not have found a dimes worth to dry area on my entire person, heck cloths I left at home in Virginia were wet, and I was having a great time. My Japanese friends, well, they weren’t so lucky. Between the 2 of them, they lost at least 25/30 balls (on the front nine), and they stopped keeping score on the 2nd hole.
As we teed up on the 9th hole, as it is prone in Florida, the rain stopped, the sun blasted through the clouds, and the heat and humidity kicked into overdrive. When we made the turn my friends raced into the pro shop and each bought a dozen balls. With the sun my game improved, and my scores lowered.
By the 13th hole my cloths, including my socks, were completely dry. The sun was sucking every bit of moisture out of the grass, and I now was sweating like a pig. Thank God each hole had a water station, because I needed a refill all the time. My Japanese friends didn’t seem that affected by the heat and humidity, and this positive change in the weather had no impact on their ability. By the time we reached the 17th hole I was reaching into my bag giving them both balls to finish the round. LMAO as we drove to the 18th and final tee box, they just kept on driving. The abandoned the game, after 17holes at least 50 golf balls, and 5 + hours they quit. Of course we didn’t say good-bye, or if they did I never understood. But as they drove back to the club house I did see a little wave from the guy driving the cart. I finished 18 by myself. I shot a 48 on the back nine for a 106. It had been a grueling day, but it was a day spent playing golf. I had a birdie and a par that day. I lost 4 balls, gave away another 4, and had a wonderful time. And it only took an hour longer than I had anticipated, but not longer than I had budgeted. I joined the family for the rest of the day and we had a great time.
Here are some of the future snap shots, Disney Space Mountain, Epcot, Boating, Myrtle Beach Golf, Lobster, and more Golf, Massanutten Virginia, Australia, London 2000, Cruises, and Trips to Louisville. If any of these are of particular interest please let me know. I am not sure at all the order these will flow, but over time I suspect you will see them all.
Folks as always your comments and thoughts are welcomed. Please take care and have a wonderful day. — Bill