I’m rolling down I-95 South for the second time in a month, doing my best to avoid the speed traps in South Carolina. My two companions – Stu-Stu and Pedro, the family Shi Tzu and King Charles – are asleep in the back. My golf clubs are in the trunk. My month as a 40-year-old bachelor is coming to an end.
On Friday, my wife and 15-month-old triplet sons will join me in Florida and my life will become more colorful but more complicated. Now don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to have my family here. But it has been fun reliving parts of my misspent youth.
Three hours at the Y shooting hoops? A quick 18 at MetroWest? Beef Jerky for dinner? Sometimes you just get the jones.
Davis Love III is spending his Monday mulling over Ryder Cup picks. I’m spending mine behind the wheel of a minivan, thankful for Sirius/XM radio in general and the PGA Tour network in particular. Stu-Stu, Pedro and I will not be alone today. We’ll have Rory, Louis and Tiger keeping us company all the way to St. George.
The Labor Day drive is mostly uneventful, but there are Smokies around almost every bend. Some of them have already pulled over drivers with lead feet. Others are standing on the side of the highway pointing radar guns. I’m keeping my ride around 80, much slower than the flying Impalas.
Rory jumps out quickly, Tiger makes his move, Louis mostly runs in place. Commissioner Tim Finchem and the folks in Ponte Vedra Beach are loving this. The playoffs are not perfect, but they are good.
Rory wins, the sun goes down, and I pull the minivan into the parking lot of a Quality Inn. It’s $59 a night, plus $10 apiece for the pups.
“You’re from New York? I’m from New Jersey,” the woman says from behind the front desk, spying my driver’s license. Her nametag is hard to read. I think it says “Cynthia.”
“What brought you to South Carolina?” I ask.
“It’s a long story,” Cynthia says.
We find our room. Stu-Stu takes his customary spot at the foot of the bed, Pedro on the floor beneath a chair. My body is stiff. It’s lights out.
At dawn, it’s back in the minivan and the radio is back on the PGA Tour network, where the announcer, Brian Katrek, is making a case for Hunter Mahan as a Ryder Cup captain’s pick. Brian would love to see Hunter get a shot at redemption after his poor chip in Wales and believes he’d play well in Chicago. I like that sentiment, too, but I think Love will look elsewhere.
Sometime around the Georgia-Florida border Davis makes his picks – Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson and Brandt Snedeker. The choices are solid and safe, very Davis.
Around lunchtime, my crew pulls into Orlando. The pups are sniffing everything in sight, trying to get used to their new surroundings. I call my wife back in New York to let her know I’ve made it safely and that I can’t wait for her and the boys to fly down Friday.
“Is the house clean?” she asks. “You’ve been living there for a month.”
We both know the answer to that question. When I moved in I bought Windex and 409, but they have not moved from their original spots on the kitchen counter.
Life is about to change.
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