It was trip No. 3 for this scribe as my buddies and I headed to the Bluegrass State for a four-day golf vacation. Mother Nature cooperated again. Near record highs in the low 80s graced us for a week in Florida in January. Ideal weather was again on tap for the Fort Wayne Fling in June.
This week was more of the same as the weather was outstanding, even if the golf was not. Oh, to be sure, there were some great golf shots struck. There were even a few trick shots and some errant ones that were laughed about after each round. But most of the zaniest moments didn't involve golf at all.
Now I realize that all of my golfing friends are getting a little long in the tooth. We are almost all on the north side of 60, so forgetfulness and losing things has become a near daily occurrence for most of us. So losing a cell phone may not seem that strange, but when it happens to two different golfers in the same day, well
The first player noticed that his phone was missing after making the turn. Actually it belonged to his wife - I have to believe that makes it worse - and his dauber was down for several holes. A call was made to the clubhouse and he received notice that indeed someone had turned in a cell phone found in the parking lot. How it popped out of the golf bag as we made the turn is anyone's guess. Despite some good natured ribbing, everyone was glad the phone was found, including, presumably, the man's wife.
As we headed for our favorite eatery after the round, one car returned to the course. We found out later that the passenger in that vehicle had left - wait for it - his cell phone in his golf cart. As the driver made his way into the course parking lot he suggested that he call the guy's phone to see if they could locate it by sound.
The plan worked as the phone rang loudly and clearly - from the trunk of the car! He had it put it in his golf bag after the round and had it with him all along. I don't know which was worse: being late for lunch or having to deal with the rest of us after we found out what had happened.
Then another golfer lost his glasses. This happens to me all the time. How you can find missing glasses when you can't see is a mystery. Retracing his footsteps meant driving back to a few establishments, though it was to no avail. Finally they showed up as they had slipped into my, I mean his, shaving kit. OK, this one was on me.
I did witness two trick shots that tend to make every golfer smile. The first was an 80-yard approach shot that went low and right - at least 40 yards off line. It struck the trunk of a tree and caromed onto the green. The second was a towering 7-wood shot on a par 3 that was woefully short until it hit the cart path and kangarooed high before settling on the putting surface. Both birdie putts were missed, but par was a good score on those holes. It could (should?) have been much worse!
We experienced some difficulty checking into our hotel. Four of our rooms were on the second floor while my roommate and I opted for first-floor housing. Turns out our patio room was more expensive than the others, though we weren't informed of that when we registered.
Upon checking out we questioned the added cost only to be told that our room rate was higher because it was a patio room. That much we knew, but we inquired about the reason for the upcharge. We were told it was because we had access to the outdoor pool, which was - again wait for it - closed for the season!
We were told the rates would indeed go down for the patio rooms on the first of October. When I suggested that the rates should go down when the pool is covered up rather than a specific calendar date, the lady politely smiled and suggested that that made sense to her also. Oh, well, the place was nice and we will return.
The Lexington trip is always bittersweet. This is such a great time of the year to play golf, but we know that our days our now numbered. This trip signals the beginning of the end to the golfing season. For sure, we will keep playing as long as the weather cooperates. A month more, maybe two and then it's time to put the clubs away until next spring.
For this writer, Lexington means it's time to switch gears. The bowling season is underway and for those readers who prefer that sport, be patient - the time is near. Perhaps I can combine some golf antics with bowling stories over the next few weeks. We'll see.
On one final note, I would like to thank our waitress at the Shamrock for being such a good sport. Dee Dee was treated to a game of "20" and was spot on in asking one of our golfers if he needed a box for his leftovers. Ask me about this situation when you see me.
It was a great trip guys. I can't wait until next year.
Al Stephenson is the golf columnist for The Advertiser-Tribune.
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