A Golfer’s Getaway

Back from vacation .. and surprisingly, I have no horror stories to tell you about my trip. The airline actually got me there and back on time without losing my luggage — or my clubs which are featured in the photo below. During my brief trip I did something that thousands of “men” do every year – go with their golfing buddies to Myrtle Beach to tee it up at the self-proclaimed golf capital of the world. Now before you ask me about the thousands of ladies that also play the fairways along the South Carolina coast, let me tell you about what I witnessed.
I saw nothing but men. The flight from Charlotte was filled with men. The crowd at the baggage check was all men – and nearly 30 golf bags came off the conveyor belt before the first piece of luggage was seen. Checking into our seaside condo, there were nothing but guys at the hotel – and nothing but boys at breakfast every morning at the hotel and all there to play golf.

I did one of those group trips, meeting a dozen guys down in Myrtle Beach for four rounds of golf and three nights at the hotel. The event was put together buy a guy named Ernie Bender ( a childhood friend of my best friend who invited me to come along ). For Ernie, who runs a construction company in south Jersey, this is his chance to go out and have fun with the boys once a year before going back to the world of fatherhood and responsibility. Ernie is also a joker who likes to bust on people and send prank e-mails to your cell phone. Guess who Ernie chose to pick on this vacation. From the moment we met, he called me Tiger Woods. I guess it was my appearance because it certainly was not my golf. Maybe he just didn’t know my name.

Our group included my best friend Joe ( that’s us posing on the 9th tee at Thistle Golf Club ) and his brothers, his father and his dad’s friends as well as Ernie and a buddy of his. Our mission was golfing all day and then eating and drinking all night. Our days were spent playing some of the finest courses in South Carolina. Our nights were spent really bad buffet food at local restaurants and enjoying beers and other beverages back in our condos.
As you can see, there are several pictures from my trip to this golfing mecca, but along the fairways something hit me. No matter where we played – or ate – I was among the youngest golfers. Most of the people we saw were in their forties or fifties or sixties and said they had gotten together for these golfing getaways for years – a chance to get away from the wife and kids. While I enjoyed being with the “guys”, I guess I began to miss having my lifetime playing partner with me – my wife Sharon. Every place we played, I quietly wondered what it would be like if she was there with me.

Anyway, I had a great time – even though I did not play particularly well. I think I put a good 20 balls in the water over four days – and never broke 90. Though, for you ladies out there, I did learn something. There are many strip clubs in South Carolina and more than a few players like to wrap up their rounds with a 19th hole stop at one of these establishments. The guys call it “shoe shopping” and don’t ask me why. All I know is that the next time you hear you man talking about “shoe shopping” on vacation, you will know what he means.

Sharon, you will be happy to know the only shoe shopping I did on vacation involved purchasing a new pair of Adidas golf shoes.

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