A Great Week in Florida . . . ‘cept for a few things

Last week THE MR. and I headed to Florida to spend time with my son and his family. Our son and daughter-in-law had got the ‘Grands’, the ‘2 Kids’ and themselves tickets for Wednesday’s practice day at ‘The Players’ tournament. Way, way TOO MUCH FUN! We spent four hours there and saw a lot of the players playing/practicing putting and chatting with other pros. Me? Heck, I was thrilled to the MAX to see Henrik Stenson up close and personal.

In person he is one very tall-drink-of-water. THE MR. left me to my own devices at the practice green while he and the other four in our party watched threesomes’ and foursomes’ approach shots to the 2nd green, and then watched them tee off on 3. I joined them just in time to watch Marc Leishman come in to the 2nd green and then tee off. What a pleasant man he seems to be, making eye contact and smiling at people standing around the tee-box, and chatting with kids and others after he’d let loose with his driver. How thrilled I am to consider him our ‘home-town’ guy even though WE live in Norfolk. You will all be proud of me to know I didn’t bother him with any of my inane chatter. But, YEAH, I wanted to . . .  I wanted to tell him “We love you in Norfolk!” 

 

The course was much, much less congested than in 2018 when we were there for the Friday ‘moving-day’ round of  the tournament. We could hardly move that day it was so crowded; but, this time on the Wednesday practice day, it was perfect: low 80’s, nice and sunny with plenty of move-around room. The course had installed over 150 of these big ‘Anti-bacterial Disposable Disinfectant Hand Gel’ stations all over the course. Everyone seemed to making good use of those dispensers.

 

I watched Justin Thomas, Stenson, Adam Scott and several other young guns for a long time just because I couldn’t make my legs move away. They totally fascinate me with their dedication to practice and I’m sure dealing with many sore backs as they putt and work on their chips. I mean, really – just how long can they stay bent over without big aches and pains setting in? We saw the ‘Rory’s’, McIlroy and Sabbatini, and at the same time I was watching Sabbinity trying to find a pen to autograph a kid’s hat, Notah Begay came flying down the cart path and had to work hard to keep from running over me. I watched B. DeChambeau miss getting on the green FOUR TIMES from a nasty little, grassy place just off the green. He was gracious though, and let some young girls do selfies with him. I have to say, I came away a bigger fan of Sabbatini than I’ve ever been. He was just very pleasant to the kids around him and smiling as he said a few words to several people. Keegan Bradley was much more easy to watch than he used to be when he use to fidget and back away way too much. Everyone seemed to be a great mood.

 

They probably had no idea what was going to await them that evening when they got back to their hotels and houses . . . First, no gallery would be allowed on the course for the 4-tournament days; and, then to end it all, a cancellation of the entire tournament. And, that was of course followed by the news of The Masters doing the same thing. I think that’s about the time (if we hadn’t already  saw the writing on the wall after the NBA made their announcement) that golf was pretty much over for the spring, summer and maybe even this year. 

 

It was that evening when I FINALLY took the shit-bird called the ‘coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)’ serious.

 

I had fun with my 10-year old granddaughter and 14-year old grandson, but even they were aware that things weren’t quite right. I spent a day shopping with them and another day just hanging around the house with them.

 

I hated to leave to come home this time more than ever before. Something nasty, big and disgustingly awful had crawled into my head – the thought that things in America have changed big time, and I didn’t know when I’d see my ‘little family’ again and if they’d all be safe and healthy. Or, even if me and THE MR. would be.

 

Scary times. But, I was glad to come back and find you all seemingly well and talking over the issues of the day. To everyone of you ladies and gentlemen on this board – be safe, hug your loved-ones close and consider watching less TV. I know I’m going to do my best to do that. If the freaking ‘coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)’ gets me I don’t want to take a chance on wasting any of my time on any bad, crazy news from the ‘djt’ White House.

I have a 9:30 a.m. tee-time with my lady friends tomorrow. I’ll be keeping it light and laughing about something as many times as possible . . .

 

These times demand nothing less.

23 thoughts on “A Great Week in Florida . . . ‘cept for a few things

  1. When it comes to Stenson, I have one memory. It was at Kingsmill when the gentlemen played there. I’m thinking it was the 12th hole. He sliced his approach badly, hit a spectator and went OB. He walked up to where his ball crossed the line, cussed under his breath (Personally, I would have been a bit more forceful, but no TV on me), and returned to where his ball previously lay. Not a word to the spectator (it wasn’t me, but Stenson was in the group with my Dad’s nephew) even after he was told that he had hit someone. Not even an “OOPS. My bad”.

    My son said to me, “He hit someone and didn’t even apologize. Isn’t that wrong?” I explained that it was and that we would just have to cheer for Jonathan that much harder to kick his butt. Jonathan finished the 2nd round in a three way tie for the lead. Stenson, I don’t recall.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Henrik Stenson, one of my favorites plus he is a fellow Swede. Word has it that he is one of the funniest guys on tour among the players. Big practical joker.

    Looks sharper than Parnevik. That upturned brim that said SAP was a tickle for sure.

    Parnevik’s Dad or uncle or grandfather or some relative was one of Sweden’s foremost comedians. I think I still have a 45 of some routines.

    Hilarious, but in Swedish, of course.

    I have only seen a few PGA tournaments when they stopped at Kingsmill. I recall playing a round on a Monday after. I was decent at an 8 handicap and my partner was the same. Played from the pro tees.
    Broke 90, but barely, and played really well. Rough was thick and more than a few drives couldn’t reach the short grass.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. @len

      Reaching the fairway from Pro length tees is an accomplishment.

      Most players have NO clue how far they carry their drives in the air. I generally keep my mouth shut, but enjoy listening to the “I hit my drives 270/80” from guys who MAYBE carry the ball 220 (on a good day).

      The most enjoyable part is listening to their excuses on wet fairways when they don’t get 50 yds of roll…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even when I was single digit (got down to 6 for one month after shooting 3 Even par rounds at Greenbrier, Chesapeake. That handicap cost me a lot of money in matches.) I probably hung around the 230-240 range total yardage. Sure pure ones, downwind on a dry fairway and I would get bragging rights.

        The woods are full of long drivers, however. One of my favorite trash talk phrases: it’s not how far, but how many.

        Today, pre op, crushed meant 200 maybe a tad more. Age is a big factor.

        Greenbrier is a soft course, not much roll. Probably adds an effective couple of hundred yards over a dry muni for the same yardage.

        But it is still fun, challenging and I can’t wait to see what I can do with a new body part.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Bionic golf is in my future, Greenbrier is a nice track, my rule of thumb these days is anything over 6,400 yds is a “no thank you”.

          Yeah, every time I hit a single digit it cost me money as well, and age is a big “factor” that I generally refer to in less genteel terms…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I switched to the green tees, 5700 more or less a few years ago. My group is all full of 70-80 year olds. At least we can still hit the longer par 4’s in two. Well, we’re capable pending a decent drive.

            Great game though. When I played in Brooklyn as a kid, I recall at Dyker Beach GC muni, there was a man close to 100. They let him off the back. He walked 9 with some “youngsters” in their 80’s, a pull cart and 3-4 clubs. Almost every day.

            I guess he’s gone now.

            Liked by 3 people

  3. Privately, many of the Pros think if you’re dumb enough to stand in landing areas off the tee you deserve to get hit. Some will even aim at galleries to avoid trouble and improve their angle into the green. Most are smart enough to apologize to save face…

    I miss that tournament, I got to have a one on one chat with The King for about five minutes the last time he played there as tour player.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Carom off a skull is more reliable than a cart path”

      . . . and probably a better chance of the ball bouncing toward the fairway and/or green.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m amazed at the number of people who have toddlers and babies in strollers alongside fairways & greens when the pros ate hitting.

      Yeah, those guys & gals are pros, but they miss their mark right regularly.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Totally agree about HS’s humor – funny & dry. I loved the interview where he explained his reasoning for stripping down to his tighty-whites to hit out of a little creek. I always wondered if Fanny was doing her best to stay serious as he kept throwing his clothes at her.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The greatest caddy ever, Ms. Fanny. In another tournament, wish I could recall which, Cousin Jonathan (Kaye, for those who are wondering) and Stenson were paired again. Fanny on Henrik’s bag and Jonathan’s wife, Jenny, on his. The MOST followed group of the first 2 rounds. Two beautiful, strong, smart blondes schlepping their players’ bag around the course. A thing of beauty.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. On our own, Marc Leishman, he is a BIG supporter of The First Tee of Hampton Roads. He donated the “picker” for the driving range at the facility next to VB National. My son, the new Director of Golf there is looking forward to working with him when the opportunity presents itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My grandson has done the First Tee the last two years, great program. Got to be his partner twice in a couple of scrambles. Priceless…

      Speaking with him, you wouldn’t know Marc was a Pro unless you already knew…

      Liked by 2 people

          1. OK. He needs to return when they re-open and meet him.

            Check out the First Tee FB page for the video posted yesterday on at home putting practice kids (or adults) can do during the shutdown.

            The guy in the green shirt is my kid.

            Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s