It Could Have Been Mine!

I’m not much of a golfer.  But this years Royals Charities Golf Tournament was the most memorable round I’ve ever played.  I almost got a luxury car out of the deal!  Maybe playing at the National Golf Club of Kansas City (aka “The National”) every year is raising my game. And if it’s not, at least it’s a beautiful place to play.

At the end of the beautiful 4th hole of this Tom Watson-designed course (on which a major water hazard lurks on the right side), this was the car available to anyone who could make a hole in one on this par 3 (as their website describes it “stubbornly guarded by a lake on the right.”)  It’s around 178 yards to the pin.  The car is a Lexus ES 350.  But, alas, I’m not driving it.

This is how close I came to my first hole in one (and the car).  I “lipped out.”  Squeals were heard from witnesses sitting close to the green as my drive rolled around the edge of the cup.  The truth is I was in a bit of shock…the last thing I would have expected.  That helped mute any disappointment (a little).

Still…look how close it was!  That’s ridiculous!  I’ll probably never get a hole in one, especially one with so much on the line (not a betting man)…but it was a round of golf I’ll never forget…

 Before the golf, the Royals completed a 4-3 road trip against two contending teams as the pennant race was heating up in August.  We had a rain delay of more than three hours in the Saturday game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but by Sunday all that humid, rainy weather was gone.  Celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this season, this beautiful ballpark changed baseball, and really, all of sports.  Look at all the new and renovated stadiums in all 4 major sports the past 20 years.  It all started here, in 1992.  And it still looks brand new.

Down in that sea of orange, which was out beyond the wall in left-center field, is the new Legends Park.  All six Orioles in the National Baseball Hall of Fame are being honored with bronze statues being unveiled throughout this season.  On the Saturday we were there, before the game, as they unveiled Eddie Murray’s likeness.  Besides Eddie, ceremony participants included Jim Palmer, Earl Weaver, Cal Ripken and Ozzie Smith (yes…Ozzie Smith…can you believe he and Eddie Murray were high school teammates in L.A.?  Imagine how great THAT team must have been!).  They were under that white tent (you’ll have to take my word for it, as this was as close as I could get to the proceedings.)

Ok…self-indulgent time (again, since it is my blog after all).  While we were in Chicago and Baltimore, my son John was on vacation in Michigan with his cousins.  Here his cousin Jane (she’s on the right in both photos) showed off her computer-photo talents as she mixed a shot from this years vacation with John (he’s on the left in both photos) and then placed it on top of the 2002 (or so) versions of both kids.  All together now….awwwwww.

Almost as cute is White Sox broadcaster and former pitcher Ed Farmer.  On this particular night Ed was wearing the attire of a US Cellular Field hot dog vendor.  (Their booth is next ours, so he modeled it for me through the window that separates us.)  He had surreptitiously bought hot dogs for Manager Robin Ventura and his coaching staff, which were then delivered to the White Sox dugout right after the National Anthem and right before first pitch.  Bon Appetit!

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