I love golf. Yes, it takes too much time and it’s ridiculously expensive. But it’s the best.
I will always regret not taking my dad up on his repeated offers to take me out to play when I was a kid. I didn’t pick up a club until the summer after I graduated from college. Good thing, because I met my future husband three years later and Slade’s passion (besides me!) is golf.
As a member of the media, I get invited to play in some fun tournaments. This week, Al, Jim & I played in the Wachovia Championship Media Day. The PGA event Wachovia is held at Quail Hollow Golf Club – a beautiful private course we normally couldn’t play. But once a year they invite members of the media to come out and hack around.
The Wachovia is a relatively new event on the PGA Tour, so they’re very welcoming of the media. In fact, the first year, they gave us pretty much full access to Quail Hollow Club. That meant I got to see the men’s locker room. Don’t get too excited – it was empty. But men’s locker rooms at these clubs are funny. They’re huge, first of all, and most have a place to play cards or have a cocktail. The older ones especially have sort of an escape for the guys. Sometimes they call it a men’s grill.
Quail Hollow is no exception. The locker room is beautiful. It has a full bar with an attendant and a great place to play cards or just hang out and watch TV. The women’s locker room is very nice, but of course, not the same. And that’s the crummy part of golf. It is still very sexist. A few clubs still have limits on when women can play and some men cringe when a girl walks up to be part of the group. The best way I can think of to handle that, though, is to smack my drive past the guys. Very satisfying.
So what’s it like to play with Al & Jim? Al Gardner is the most affirming player you’ll ever meet. I’m a 24 handicap (long off the tee, inconsistent everywhere else!) and he makes me feel like Annika Sorenstam. That can backfire, though. I played in a women’s tournament last year and I won my flight. Another women cornered me and basically accused me of cheating! The way we talk about my game, she thought I was a much better player and should have been in a different flight. Oops.
Jim Szoke makes you laugh so hard you can’t swing a club. I can’t repeat most of what he says, though. This is a family blog.
We played with another women who works here, behind the scenes. Nancy was our best player by far. She volunteers at the tournament every year and gave us a running commentary of golfer and fan behavior.
Last year was the first I played regularly again since having children. This year, I’m going to try to get my handicap down below 20. I play that women’s tournament again in August. Maybe this year I can live up to my billing!