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February 21, 2018

2/14/2018 9:08:00 AM
A healthy dose of golf
I was fortunate enough to miss the late-January blizzard that dumped 13 inches of snow on the area a few weeks ago. Pardon my gloating, but I was enjoying the sunshine, warmth and green grass of southern California.
Make that, a lot of green grass.
It's safe to say that our winter vacation to the San Diego area, at least for me, was filled with golf. The resort at which we stayed has an executive course and a very short par 3 course. What's the difference, you ask? The Fountains executive course is an 18-hole, par 62 course with a handful of short par 4s and many more par 3s. The par 3 Oaks course is nothing but par 3s and, although, I've never played it and only seen it, I suspect you aren't going to need much more than a 9 iron - a wedge probably will suffice - for most of the holes.
I played four rounds on the resort's Fountains course, then traveled a few miles down the road to play Twin Oaks in San Marcos. It's a 6,535-yard, par 72 course that's just 25 years old. It offers a lot of different looks with fairly quick greens.
Not only was the course fun to play - and challenging for a guy who hadn't touched a golf club in most of three months - but the company was terrific. I played with a couple of local electrical contractors, Neil and Carl, with similar abilities, which made for a fun afternoon of golf. The pace was a little slow, but very enjoyable.
As if I hadn't had enough golf, I also watched golf - in person.
Checking out Tiger
My wife, Donna, and daughter, Mindy, joined me at Torrey Pines Golf Course north of San Diego for the opening round of the Farmers Insurance Open.
What a beautiful course with spectacular views of the ocean in the background of several holes. My wife enjoyed that most.
We arrived just in time to watch Tiger Woods make his continental U.S. debut. We also got a taste of Tiger mania.
Both sides of the fairway were lined with golf fans eager to get their first look at Tiger in more than a year. I must say I was mildly caught up in the moment. Tiger will go down as one of the great golfers of all time, but at 42 years of age, he is unquestionably on the backside of a career filled with highs and lows. Nevertheless, I can at least say I was fortunate enough to watch Tiger Woods in person.
Tiger hooked his first tee shot into the gallery. We watched the ball sail over our heads, then a mass of people sprinted toward his ball.
It was absolutely crazy. I can only imagine what "Arnie's Army" was like in The King's heyday.
I believe Tiger put his second shot from the rough on the green, making the stroke surrounded by a swarm of onlookers.
After the shot and the throng had moved to the green, two guys stayed behind to take a photo of - are you ready for this - Tiger's divot.
Really? A divot? Now, I admit I snapped a photo or two of Tiger with my phone and I even recorded some video of him putting, but a photo of his divot? I'd be curious to see if they've got 8-by-10s hanging in their man caves.
We followed Tiger for a few holes, had lunch, then camped out for the rest of the afternoon at the 17th green. With very few spectators lining the roped-off area, we moved in and secured our spot for the afternoon.
We were only about 25 feet from the pin, which gave us a great up close-and-personal view of the golfers as they putted.
On one occasion, golfer Andrew Yun's approach landed on the back edge of the green, then rolled off and to the feet of a spectator standing just two people away from me. The official came over and told the spectator not to move until Yun arrived. There was a little humorous interaction between golfer and spectator before Yun kindly asked him to back away.
Yun calmly chipped his shot to within a foot of the cup to save par.
We watched the tournament's final round at home in Windom on Sunday. Having been there and seeing the holes in person made watching the tournament much more interesting.

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