I haven’t let this blog go dark out of some any paranoid or proprietary you’ll-have-to-buy-the-book motive (though that isn’t a bad idea, come to think of it). Rather, these last two weeks have been their own strange and wonderful new life, one where I wake and drive and golf, then drive and eat a sandwich from a gas station and golf, then check my itinerary and golf, and then follow the sat-nav to a bed and breakfast near some golf. Save a few minutes to journal my daily thoughts, this trip has left me little writing time, and with my brain fried from 54 wind-whipped holes today (Muirfield, Kilspindie, and Craigielaw, all along Scotland’s Golf Coast in East Lothian, east of Edinburgh), I hesitate to put words out into the blogosphere, or any sphere. I can hardly get up to walk to the bathroom, let alone compose a piece of writing worth consumption. But in the interest of assuring everyone that I didn’t trade the chilly rain of the UK and bugger off to Ibiza or something, I wanted to check in.
Two weeks in, and this journey has been many things. It has been exhausting–I have played 30 courses in less than two weeks, from the southern tip of England up into Wales and up and over to Scotland. It has been painful–my legs feel like I spend the day kicking cement bags. It has been wet–so very, very wet–and it has been lonely at times, missing my girls back home, on long days when it’s just me and my golf ball, a Titleist who often doesn’t speak my language.
It has been a little dangerous–leave the driving aside, that’s it’s own chapter–but among my travel partners, feet have been taped and band-aided, blisters burst, golfers have surrendered to the elements and to exhaustion, and a flying golf ball has even struck one of my compatriots in the face from 250 yards away (they do yell fore over here, but too politely to hear in a 30mph wind). It has felt so much longer than a few weeks. And it has been worth every second, every pound spent, and every pound lost (either I’m shrinking or all the rain is making my clothes grow). And the sun does shine. It shines quite a bit, and I’ve actually had more than I expected. (I’m noting this out of fear of not doing so will cause some cosmic offense and bring on a month of downpours.)
I have seen places I thought I never would, and places I never even knew that I wanted to see until I was looking at them. I have been surprised in the most wonderful ways, day by day, and hour by hour. Every hardship has been met by piles of good fortune. I have lived golf dreams by the bucketful, and my adventure has just begun.
I have learned Scottish slang (paps!), mastered the country road overtake, hit a hundred knock-down six-irons, and learned a lot about soccer (what is up with Blackpool?). I have made six birdies in one round, shot -2 twice, taken seven shots in a bunker, and backed up a 69 with an 81 in the same day. I have made progress and seen the results from this quest for golf’s secrets. And I have been as confused as ever, watching a four-foot putt roll away from the hole with heartbreaking indifference.
When I wake up every morning, I’m struck for a moment by the same thoughts: Where am I? What the hell am I doing here, playing MORE golf, so far away from the family? What am I after? How far have I gone? How far have I come? Is the bathroom connected to my room, or is it across the hall? Did I really eat all that Cadbury last night? And then I get going, right foot, left foot, and it isn’t long before I’m watching a drive cut its way through the sea breeze and it all makes sense, and I know precisely where I am: Exactly where I am supposed to be.
The blogs won’t be terribly frequent, but I am posting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on an annoyingly regular basis. Pictures and updates and location check-ins galore. So if you want to stay along with me on this trip, please follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @coynewriter. And you can follow my Facebook author page here.