Tag Archives: Bethany Beach

Golf Widows And Orphans

I love to travel for golf.  Some of my best vacations are had when going to play at destination sites.  But when you’re on a family vacation, do you golf if other members of your party don’t?  This can be a tricky dilemma and I’m staring it straight in the face next week, as the family and I head off to Treasure Island, Florida for some time in the sun.

Sneaking out to play and practice at Bear Trap Dunes in Bethany Beach, DE
Sneaking out to play and practice at Bear Trap Dunes in Bethany Beach, DE

The downside of turning your family into golf widows and orphans is just too great, so I err on the side of not playing.  That doesn’t mean golf is totally ruled out.  I’ll always bring my clubs on family trips to the Delaware eastern shore and often get a round in very early while everyone is still sleeping.  No harm there.  Or sometimes, like on our last trip to Florida, I’ll make my way to a professional venue just to check it out.  As it happened my son and I ran into Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill completely by accident.  What a thrill!

With Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill Club. April 2010
With Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill Club. April 2010

Next week, the PGA Tour is playing Valspar at Innisbrook in Palm Harbour, which is 45 minutes from our hotel.  Maybe we’ll pop in on Thursday or Friday, or for a practice round???  So even if you’re not playing, you can still engage.  Bottom line:  family is too important and they shouldn’t be abandoned even if golf is your passion.

Some fellow bloggers play with their family members.  Jim, at The Grateful Golfer is starting to play more with his wife, which is awesome.  Josh and Beth at Golf is Mental, regularly travel, play together, and document their trips beautifully in posts and pictures.  More power to you folks!

My next golf trip is to Myrtle Beach over Memorial Day week.  Here’s the line-up:

The Legends – Heathland

Grand Dunes – Resort Course

Myrtle Beach National – Kings North

TPC of Myrtle Beach

Wild Wing – Avocet

Willbrook Plantation

Having played a fair amount of golf in Myrtle Beach, I still try to get on at least one course I’ve never played per trip.  This year that will be Wild Wing – Avocet.  Anyone ever played there?  Got some playing tips for me?  New reviews are coming for the courses in red.

So next week, as much as I would like to be ripping drives down lush Bermuda fairways for seven straight days, I’ll happily settle for kayaking in the mangroves, Baltimore Orioles spring training games, riding roller coasters at Busch Gardens, and just hanging with family by the pool and on the beach.  Remember, on a family vacation, always put family first!  Safe travels and play well.

My Almost Perfect Father’s Day

With my kids on Father's Day at Bethany Beach, DE
With my kids on Father’s Day at Bethany Beach, DE

I drifted off to sleep Saturday night thinking about Father’s Day and wondering what would constitute the perfect day?  How about a great beach day with my family, a perfect round of golf, and a thrilling storybook ending to the U.S. Open?

I was going to spend the afternoon at the beach with my wife and kids and the weather was going to be perfect – part one, check.  I also had a tee time at the Salt Pond in Bethany Beach at 7:00 a.m.

#3 Tee at the Salt Pond
#3 Tee at the Salt Pond

The Salt Pond is a lovely little par-61 executive course where I annually go to sharpen my iron game when visiting the beach.  If your swing is on, you can score because the greens are always soft and in excellent condition.  I’ve gone as low as 3-under here, but was thinking about “the perfect round”.  How about bogey free?  Ever played a bogey free round?  On a couple of occasions, I’ve gotten close, and when the round got late into the back-nine, the pressure buildup was significant, and I always cracked.  So I figured, why not on the perfect day?

Third, I looked forward to watching Phil Mickelson enjoying his birthday, Father’s Day, first U.S. Open title, yada, yada yada.  Well, we know how that ended, but Justin Rose seemed like a very worthy champion, and truly a class act with his gracious post-round comments about Phil.  No complaints.

There’s just a driving net with a couple of stations at the Salt Pond, but I’m becoming very adept at playing golf sans hitting warm-up balls since I’ve been working on this new warm-up routine, and elected to tee off after stretching and taking a couple of passes with a swing doughnut.  I wonder if any tour pros have played bogey free golf in an official round without warming up?  But I digress.  I opened with a lovely 7-iron right over the flag and just missed the birdie putt.  A couple of solid pitching wedges on #2 and #3 yielded a birdie and a par, but the dream ended on #4 with a pulled 5-iron and a missed 10-footer for par.  At least I wasn’t hallucinating for too long.  The day ended with a few more birdies, a few bogeys, and two doubles.  I finished three-over and sort of reminiscent of the round Lefty would play later in the day.  But I was out playing the game I love and really had no expectations other than to have fun.

I loved Father’s Day this year; it was truly perfect for me.  How was yours?

9 Tee at The Salt Pond
9 Tee at The Salt Pond