It was nine billion and sixty two degrees the day of the tournament. I am exaggerating, but only slightly. I normally go through a couple of bottles of water when playing 18 holes, but this was easily a 5 water bottle day. My foursome was comprised of myself and three older gentlemen, all retired, who had been golfing forever. They were all very good and extremely patient as I struggled with errant tee shot after errant tee shot, but I kept up the pace as best as I could. My first tee shot of the day was short and far right. Thank goodness we were playing best ball. It was a 501 yard par 5 hole and I drove the fairway in three (thanks to that best ball situation), then got stuck in a bunker. After 3 angry chips, I finally escaped the sand and 2 putted in for a triple bogie.
The course was backed up by the 12th hole, so we had a reprieve in a shaded oasis while the group ahead teed off. The refreshment cart was waiting (why it wasn't moving around the course I will never know). Again, no water! It was only stocked with three kinds of beer and the dirty ice keeping the beer cold. In dehydrated desperation I asked “Which beer has the fewest calories?!” Why I was concerned about calories at that moment is a mystery. It just came out.
One of the super thin, super tall models manning the coolers perked up at the sound of a calorie counter in distress and dashed over with a super tall, super skinny can. It was soooooo cold! I touched it to my forehead for the briefest moment, then ripped into the can and chugged in delight! After a few gulps, the group ahead of us had teed off, but I couldn't bear to move out of the shade yet or put down that can. As I enjoyed my drink, the rest of my group teed off. My cart mate had been driving all day and decided he would walk since this was a 178 yard par 3 hole, oblivious to the sun rays beaming down on us. I like hot weather, but good lord! I got behind the wheel and drove up to the tee box, beer in hand, feeling simultaneously guilty for driving with a beer but relived to have it.
It was just after noon and this hole faced west. I teed off, a decent shot that landed along the right side of the fairway, just in front of a bunker and the green. I hopped back in the cart, grabbed my still cold can, and stepped on the gas. Finally feeling cool and refreshed, I eventually bogied the hole.
The rest of the day was a lot of fun. No one in our group earned a trophy, but the awards ceremony was nice and a lot of money was raised for college scholarships. Was I nervous playing in the tournament? Yes, at first. But golf is what you make it and I had a great time.
Now get out there and play!