I made plans to visit my Daughter last weekend. She has been living in Anaheim and carving out a career at Disney for over the last four years. I have gone to see her plenty of times in the past and we usually try and do a day in the park and then find something different to do outside the Disney bubble. Usually that means we will go to a movie or the Zoo. Now don’t get me wrong, like most of the world, I’m a fan of Disney and Mickey Mouse, or as Emma calls him, The Boss.
The Boss and I have had a long relationship and I kind of have adopted him as my guide. He has been present with me ever since my first trip to Disney World back went I was about 10. I wore a single Mickey Mouse Tee-shirt under my baseball uniform for my entire high school career. I wore a Mickey Mouse tee shirt under my tux when I got married...Laura didn’t know that until now! During every road race I have ever run and will run I wear a Mickey Mouse tee-shirt. On my golf bag there is a Mickey Mouse towel and I use mickey mouse ball markers….you get the point.
Another thing to know is that even with The Boss as a constant presence in my life, his image and branding is very subtle in my life. If you or when you come out to play golf with me while I’m out on the road you might not even notice The Boss’s presence.
As Emma and I were making plans for the weekend I began to hatch my own plan as well. I have always wanted to drive down from NorCal to SoCal and tee it up the same day. This weekend’s plans seemed to be offering me an opportunity that I simple could not refuse. I was scheduled to meet up with Emma on Friday leaving me Thursday to set off on my road trip and fulfill a minor bucket list item. Also, this would be good practice for the upcoming Fore Stories adventure /quest. After each round I plan to drive on average 4 hours to my next course location, rest that night, play 18, and head out back on the road.
Off I went at the crack of dawn from a small hotel in Santa Nella about 5 hours from my destination; Willowick Golf Course, Tee-Time 1:30pm With no traffic I could have time to stretch the legs, eat lunch, and hit a medium bucket before I tee off. The cruelest thing about the is drive down I-5 is that it’s a straight wide open 75 mph bomb to Burbank...then it’s gets dumb. At Burbank, which is about an hour from Anaheim, the traffic is so bad all the time that often it takes 2 to 3 hours to get to Anaheim. What I do when I get near Burbank is I set Waze up for Emma’s place and Waze navigates me all around the LA area. When I got to Burbank I was 1.5 hours away from my golf destination so I set up Waze and off I went; down side streets, over freeway, under over passes, through neighborhoods, and then by some miracle of traffic navigation I’m 2 miles from my exit in for the golf course on time for lunch.
I teed off as a single. There was a group in front of me and no one behind me.
That’s pretty normal in fact I expected to catch up and join the group ahead of me, and we would have our usual round, shaking hands at the end only to never see each other again. The group was faster than me, which was nice, but out of nowhere a twosome came up from behind and insisted that we match up. Fine with me, I suggested that they play through, but they refused stating that I would be hitting up on them the entire round. I was confused by that statement seeing that they swooped up on my like a flash flood, and so a confused single matched up with two speed golfers, at least that’s what I thought.
I was walking and they were riding. The cool thing that I remember about walking is that it doesn’t take much longer to play a hole as it does to ride a hole. It’s almost the same amount of time. At first when we matched up the walking the course thing was an issue for my twosome. They questioned the pace of play and were ready to blame me for slowing them down. I reminded them that I offered for them to play headed of me. I was keeping pace with these guys just fine, and I learned quickly how and why they were golfing so quickly; Gimmies, and Ready Golf. The ready golf was bordering on dangerous with one player hitting while the other is zipping in front of him on the fairway. The gimmie’s were very generous; 6 footers for par. I say no to that. You need to putt those. To be honest I found it all a little stressful. This is not my idea of a round of golf, I’m sure these guys where not feeling the game.
Their minds were clearly on something other then the green grass and the views. I wasn’t sure what their motivation was for being out there. I know it took me out of my game, I was not feeling the game either.
By the ninth whole I was done. After I putted out I grabbed the push cart and headed to the cart path to intercept the twosome to alert them I was peeling off. I got to the cart path and they never came by, I looked around, and finally I caught a glimpse of them in the parking lot. The parking lot, wait...no hand shake, no good round, no have a good day. Oh no, I was not having that. I walked out to the parking lot and rolled my cart right up to them and said, “Great minds think alike, I’ve decided to peel off too” I stuck out my head to shake theirs and there was is awkward pause by both of them. They finally stuck out their hands, “good round and have a good day” we all said, and I was on to my car to pack up.
As I sat having a fine treat after my round I reflected on my goal and it’s out come. It was a 100 percent success. The drive went well, I made it to the course, and I played the round. The golf course the people working the course were great. My weekend was a success even before I met up with Emma. I spent only about a minute thinking about my playing partners, and I quickly determined that it must have been an off day for them. . Maybe the round helped them clear their minds, or focused them up to handle whatever was creating the kaos on the course. I hope the next time they are out there playing the feeling of golf is more present then it was during our round.
Maybe all they needed was a guide, I’ll talk to the Boss, no wait, maybe I’ll have Emma do that instead!