I have travelled pretty much around the world and most of the places I have gone I have tried to squeeze in at least one golf game.
Why would I do this when I am not a particularly good golfer. my game, particularly at new courses, seeks to keep in the high 90’s but I frequently find myself over the century mark.
Yet I love the game, and I think I love it even more when I travel.
This week underscored why for me.
I golfed three games in Punta Cana on three different tracks.
Game One…I am partnered with a man from France, whose English was sketchy but a very nice man. One of the things I like about Punta Cana is the cosmopolitan feel to the place with airlines from many countries at the airport and as I wrote about Playa Del Carmen, a menu of languages being spoken around you.
Back to game one. My other two game mates are a couple from Calgary. Names are exchanged and he identifies the obvious when I introduce myself from Manitoba, that I am of Ukrainian discent.
He explains that he is also Ukrainian and actually grew up in Manitoba. When I ask where he tells me in a small town called Rossburn in the Western part of the province.
I tell him I grew up less sthan 15 miles away in an even smaller town called Angusville.
After much discussion I find he was best friends with my younger first cousin from Rossburn and knew many of the people I knew.
I golfed alone for game two and didn’t like it at all…And my score showed it.
Game three…I golf with this guy, Tom, and I wish I could remember his last name because he was great to golf with. He’s a lawyer from Cleavland and really is quite a good golfer even though he had a few bad holes.
The point is we had great discussions on the course, about not much really, but just simple plain talk.
So why to I like golf when I am away.
I meet interesting and fascinating people.
Golf courses around the world are carved out of some of the best land, rightly or wrongly. The views can be spectacular. On La Cana course that day we had at least six holes bordering the ocean.
Even inland courses are often build on and around valleys and other viewpoints. And since the idea of frying in the hot sun just to modify the pigment of my skin makes no sense to me. So doing something constuctive like learning to swear in several languages, chasing small white round objects into bush and sand, and oh yeh meeting some of the finest individuals on earth does it for me.