Wednesday was a special day because my niece and I, as a twosome, were able to play 18 holes before the start of "Mens' Day." She is 15 and can out drive her aunt by 30 yards, but I don't mind. I love watching her aggressive swing and her determination as she reads our tricky greens. But, after her uphill putt just missed the hole, she declared, "Aww...life's tough, Auntie!"
On Thanksgiving Eve, I couldn't resist a lesson on gratitude and humbleness. I explained to her that our lives are anything but tough. I reminded her of the obvious -- we were playing golf at a beautfiul country club on a spring-like winter day with views of the Golden Gate, SF skyline, and were enjoying each other's company. Then, the plethora of loved ones and material things that we are blessed with while many are without. In short time, she got it!
I was especially in a thankful mood as it relates to golf for two reasons. First, on Sunday, while playing with my Dad and friends, I had my second hole-in-one on the same hole that I had my first ace! It was during our club's Turkey Trot tournament and as a team we were grinding to do well. We were playing off of the forward tees and I hit my 6-iron onto the green. It's an uphill hole and a tiered green. We could see it rolling on the green, but didn't know whether it was long or fell off the green and rolled short. After looking for it, I asked my playing partners if they saw my ball. One friend said, "Look in the hole!" which my Dad did and to our surprise there it was.
I was thrilled to share the excitement with my Dad, my Mom, and other relatives and close friends later in the clubhouse.
Then, on Tuesday, a friend invited me to play Monterey Peninsula Country Club near Pebble Beach and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. I've not played Pebble and I'm threatening to take my Dad and Mom there next year -- he's old-fashioned and just can't imagine paying $425 for a round of golf and that's without the lodge fee required to even get a tee time!
I must admit the hospitality was not the most inviting. I suspect because it's a premier private club and guests aren't welcome without being accompanied by a member. After getting over the difficulty of buying my Dad a souvenier, we first went to the driving range, which is one of the nicest and largest that I've seen. Green grass, of course, and there wasn't signage to post the distances to the flags, but range finders behind the stalls.
Newly re-designed, the holes wind through the forest and then you're greeted by the sounds of the waves clapping the beach. It was hard to concentrate on playing well while being distracted by beautiful homes and the vistas. It was a special treat!
It wasn't too long ago that I was very frustrated with my game. I was scoring poorly and just not hitting the ball well. I've improved slightly and then was struck with a bit of good luck with the hole-in-one and a chance to play a beautiful course. I have much to be thankful, and I hope you're having a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend!