What a Year to Remember

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Some irreverent memories of 2009 ...

  • One of my favorite sandwich shops in Orlando just happens to be only a couple of miles from the pearly gates of Isleworth, the ritzy community which hit the headlines this Thanksgiving for Tiger Woods' little driving mishap. I decided to grab a ham-and-cheese a couple of days into the Tiger saga and just couldn’t resist the extra five-minute drive down the road to take a peek at the media circus. I couldn’t believe what I saw: you’d think the G8 had come to town. I counted 14 satellite and live TV trucks, umpteen cars, reporters from all around the globe and all of their equipment scattering the sidewalk; it was a remarkable scene.  

  • Another huge story this year was courtesy Tom Watson at Turnberry. Unlike Cinderella the glass slipper didn’t fit for Tom; however, it was great to watch and fantasize about the aftermath. The aftermath ended-up not being too glamorous for Watson. I saw him sitting in the BMI Lounge at Glasgow airport on the following Monday reading a newspaper with a large photo of him standing next to Cink, adorning the front page. He received a standing ovation when he boarded the aircraft, but just like myself and the rest of the passengers, he had to wait 45 minutes for the bags to be delivered.

  • I was lucky to cover another big story this year, the Olympic golf announcement in Copenhagen. I arrived on the penultimate day of the Olympic Congress. Most folks had already left and I wasn’t too optimistic my courtesy bus was going to be meeting me at the airport. With three weeks worth of luggage bundled onto a cart, I trudged through the terminal hoping – but not expecting to – see someone holding a board with my name on it. My pessimism was rewarded as indeed no such person existed. I wandered the Terminal like Tom Hanks trying to find an Olympic representative and finally found a desk with the famous rings logo. After breaking through the language barrier, the official took me outside where I noticed a sparkling white, brand spanking new S600 Mercedes with a Copenhagen Olympic Congress logo on the side. Here’s your driver she said. Now, if we could just get the same treatment every week.

  • Standing on the first tee at St. Andrews in the Dunhill Links will last in the memory banks for a very long time. I was extremely lucky to be invited to play in the event this year and it marked my first outing on the Old Course. Many of my so-called golfing friends give me much grief for the old trusty Callaway 2-iron I have in the bag. But the dinosaur stood by me throughout the week, and provided a penetrating low bullet down the first in front of the attentive gallery. It was rewarding considering my thoughts of not making contact as I stepped onto the hallowed turf.

  • Sitting under a Torrey Pine tree at dusk in the parking lot of the famous La Jolla public golf course eating delicious food prepared by a “dawn patroller” whilst on assignment for 'Golf in America,' one gets to thinking of all the amazing opportunities this game has given me. I was terrible when we played the South Course at dawn the next morning, but the company was fun and my hunger for the game soon returned.

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you enjoy the holiday season and may I wish you and your families the very best for the forthcoming yer.