What a great day!! Joyce and I spent the day driving about in Southeast England. Draw a line from Canterbury to the west and Sandwich, then to the south to just north of Dover and then back up to Canterbury and you’ll have the triangle we traveled today. We’ve both written about the marriage saving powers of in-car navigation. Well today it did not fail.
After a brief stop in Sandwich for Joyce to explore the old town and me to enjoy a bit of quiet next to the canal we headed on to one of my favorite spots. The panoramic photo above is taken from the western edge of Royal St. Georges. You’re looking eastward out to the English Channel and over one of the most sacred grounds of British Open golf and Kent. With buddies Jim Gebhardt and Tony Velez we double looped this amazing track on the most amazing of English days in 2004. When one first arrives, the first instinct is to shrug and say, “they play golf here”? Yes, HERE! This was the location of my first ever round of international golf. My first round in the UK. I just didn’t know. What looks to be a simple piece of flat ground meant to graze sheep turns about to be one of the most interesting tracks in English links. More bumps and hollows and strategically placed bunkers than one could imagine. We were shepherded around by John, our trusted looper. We learned sometime before we finished that, it was in fact, John’s 60th birthday. And John offered to meet up with us later for a proper celebratory drink with he and his daughter. What a great day and evening.
I began to be overwhelmed by emotion as I took the photo above. My body doesn’t allow me to play golf any more, so some sadness and grieving of a part of my life I no longer enjoy. A ton of joy for having had that amazing experience with two of the best lads ever in Tony and Jim. An appreciation for getting the chance to share it with Joyce in some small way and just enjoy it differently in this version of life. A deep respect for the English and how they have kept it much the same as it was 18 years ago. And supreme confidence that it will remain such for generations and likely centuries to come!