Updated: Apr 4, 2019
And it begins! Well for the sake of accuracy "it" actually began two weeks ago, and the “it” I’m referring to is what I’ve been talking about for several months already. On March 17th at 11:20am I began my quest to play the oldest public golf courses in the US. It was a great start, which I will dive into and share in just a moment. First I have to apologize for being so slow in sharing. Right after I completed round one of the journey I dove right into preparation for a two week European vacation...poor me right! I had to wrap up a bunch of work stuff and pack and on and on...
Anyway, I’m now in England resting, having some coffee, and writing from the cosiest farm house in Somerset County!
Often we make plans, some grand plans, even fantasies. We research, we share ideas, and we take lots of notes. If done right these plans become reachable goals in our heads, we can even see them coming off the pages of our notes, We can see the travel itinerary coming together, and we see the results of the months of dreaming unfolding. Where most of our plans, goals, and fantasies misfire is in the execution. Moments before the big plan is to be executed something always comes up; work, family, car trouble, etc… This may sound so obvious...but, the lack of execution is the killer of all goals.
I executed. It wasn’t easy, I had factors that, if I let them seep into my mind and stay there, I would have derailed my plan. I would sometimes think, “I can reschedule the tee times, I can move my radio guest spot ( yes, I was on the radio!) to another weekend”. I often think, “there’s always next month, I’ll start then” Why do we allow that to happen?? I was always able to clear my head and get back to what I wanted to do for me, and in those moments of doubt I always returned my thinking to; “do this for me” Another driving force to launch this quest on time was by some luck in planning. I had asked and was granted permission to be a guest on The Shag Bag Radio Show. I felt a strong sense of responsibility to fulfill this obligation so as the weeks turned into days, and derailment factors popped up I kept moving forward with the plan. At 8:45 am on March 16th I found myself walking into the Del Monte Bar & Grill at the Del Monte golf course waiting for my ten minutes of fame. Here I was going to share with more people then I have ever done before my goal and plan and at that moment there was no turning back.
March 16th at 9:45am:
I was on the radio and I had a great time.
David Marzetti was a gracious host making me feel very welcome. It was the first time I was ever on a radio show and it was the first time I was ever interviewed anywhere. I felt David was interested in my quest, which helped me share my story with the audience. While I was sharing how the idea came to me, the time I took to research the courses, and literally drawing on a map the destinations, I was always thinking “This is an amazing journey, how lucky I am to be at the doorstep of this quest”. After the show, like the end of a round of golf, we shook hands, wished each other well, and parted ways. The only difference is that I will be keeping David updated, and I do hope I can return to the show at the end of the golf season to re-cap season one of the three season journey. If you have time please take a moment to listen to the show, David is great and he’s been doing this show for over 16 years. http://shagbagshow.com/
March 16th at 11am:
As planned I was able to announce on the radio show that on March 17th I would be at The Del Monte Golf Course at 11:20am to officially Tee Off the quest...but first a warm up.
Pacific Grove Golf Links was a course on my bucket list and I thought while I was in Monterey kicking off the journey I would take a shot at Pacific Grove and make it a Saturday afternoon warm up round, you know...get the kinks out. Making my way to the first tee I was a little nervous for two reasons; having just been on the radio I was worried that people will recognize me and cause a stir :) and the reality was becoming clearer, I’m was one day away from the official Tee Off. I was quickly met by the threesome I was matched up with; no signs of them recognizing me...good, and they seemed super casual as they were settling into the first tee box. It was a good start for everyone and the round was under way.
The front nine turned out to be a warm up for the back nine. There was plenty to see; Great views of the ocean off in the distance, lots of deer all around, and the weather could not have been better. We were playing well enough and having fun.
However there was this underlying feeling of anticipation. No one in our group had ever played this course and we all heard the same thing. The front nine is good, but your going to love the back nine. So we steadily made our way through the front nine. Learning what we each do at work and laughing about missed shots.. They were part of a Corporate Flight crew: Pilot and two Engineers. They fly all over the world and on this day they were wrapping up a three day layover playing golf with me before they head off to Japan...so cool.
We wrapped up the ninth and headed to ten. We were met with a very unassuming 104 yard par 3. We all kind of shrugged our shoulders and hit out shots. They flared out toward the hole, some closer to the green then others, and we all made our way toward the green. As each one of us got to about 20 feet of the green we all stopped and collectively nodded, YUP.
What we saw was an elevated 11th tee box sloping slightly left 247 yards right into the ocean. We putted out at 10 and moved to the 11th. None of us wanted to go first off the tee in the likely event we mis-hit and ruin this pristine moment.
We did hit and we managed to not ruin the view...too much.
Play the back nine was tough and not for the reason you might think, sure the wind was up a little, and you had to think a bit more about ball flight I guess. No, what made it hard was the views, the ocean and the wild life.
For the first time I can ever remember I was distracted in my back swing because of an impressive moment in nature. When I went into my back swing out of my prefferal vision I could see the most spectacular waves crashing on a rocks. I didn’t even care that the ball hooked hard left, I turned to the guys tell them and they all were taking photos of the same thing I saw. That is how it went for the entire back nine; birds flying, deer walking by at arms length, and the views...Sadly it came to and end. We headed up the 18th fairway to the green leaving the ocean behind us. We putting out, shook hands, and went our separate ways.
What a start to the quest; on the radio, Pacific Grove Golf Links, and a great foursome. Although, I must say, I was a little disappointed that no one recognized me...I wonder way?? Coming soon, and I promise soon, like in a few days I will share the official Tee Off to the quest. See you all very soon.