The handful of faithful PressingPausers are wondering when, if ever again, the humble blog will refresh. I may not have factored the Handful in enough when I recently agreed to assume more responsibilities at work. On top of that I planned an intensive course last week and taught it this week and right now I’m in the middle of a four-day volunteering stint at the US Open at Chambers Bay.
Which is what my golf-addled friends are most curious about. I’m on the Disabilities Access Committee. Thursday, beside the green at the brutally tough fifth hole*, I perfected the badass Secret Service agent look with sunglasses, earpiece, and radio. I decided talking into my sleeve would be overclubbing. It was uneventful because no able-bodied person dare sit in the designated handicapped section given my intimidating presence.
Friday, I spent an hour riding shotgun in another cart, and then when I had the lay of the land, drove disabled spectators in my own cart over most of the 1,000 acres (the course is 250).
Low point. Cruising behind the scene solo, no one around, who do I see walking alone along the road? The winner of the 1995 US Open who I happened to go to school with. So I say, “Coreeeey!” DOES NOT EVEN LOOK UP. Shit Corey, I used to watch you hit balls on the intramural field on the way to class back in the day! We nearly ate breakfast together in Rieber Hall! I celebrated your 5-wood like I had hit it myself! My depression only lasted about fifteen minutes.
High point. Who is that female commentator walking from the middle of the fairway right towards me?! Closer, closer, eye contact, smile. Thank you Natalie Gulbis** for helping me completely forget what’s his name. After texting some buddies about my Natalie Gulbis encounter, one wrote back to say surely she thought I was her grandfather. Not funny.
Also fun. As I drove back and forth by the practice range sometimes security would raise the ropes so that spectators and I would have to stop for . . . Rory Mac, Adam Scott, Colin Montgomerie.
Like the winner Sunday evening, I probably deserve a very large trophy for my uncanny ability to skillfully weave through masses of humanity on densely packed sidewalks while simultaneously spying every player walking between tees and every threesome’s scoring signboard.
It turns out that Tom Chambers Bay as some funny radio hosts are calling it is not a great course for spectators. Watch on television, the ropes are much, much further back than normal, so much so it’s as if the players are all alone. Given the length and hilly nature of the course, and the super slippery fescue, spectators are retreating to the grandstands.
Down the stretch on Sunday I hope they let people into the fairways. So much for my darkhorse, Michael Putnam. Now, I will cheer the newest Masters Champion to go back-to-back.
Well, I better get to sleep. I’m back at it in thirteen hours.
* Turns out the fifth hole is the Byrnes family hole. My oldest brother works the fifth hole at Nicklaus’s Memorial tournament every year.
** To Steve Wood, rest assured I am on the lookout for HS, but alas, cannot report a sighting YET.