Remember the time we went on spring break to South Carolina and it was only sunny for one day? Well today was that day. And it was beautiful! I woke to the the gifts of the coffee elves (and a little bit of morning blog catch up) on this first day of April. I should mention that April Fools Day is one of my favorite holidays, and it took a great deal of maturity for me not to replace all the pencils and pens in my teammates bags with Crayola crayons or, since I was up so early, create an indoor water hazard in front of each of their doorways. Though I did plant the seed of fear of being pranked the day before, and I believe that the apprehension was prank enough for at least Izzy.
We headed to the range at Turtle Point at around 11AM to warm up (because it was SUNNY!) before our round at Cougar in the afternoon. Coach and I created a little mental sand trap out of all the wet items in my golf bag in order to preempt and prevent any more of those fun rough to bunker to bunker from 15 yards out shots. We also met a Williams alum, who I am pretty sure saw my pink Lily Pulitzer alligator pants from across the island and came over to say hi while we practiced on the putting green. We spent the first three hours of our golfing day putting in a circle formation. I know this because I have started timing my blood sugar bottom outs, and this exercise was almost the death of me. It was actually one of the most team oriented–and so, for me, rewarding and fun–exercises that we’ve ever done. It might have messed with my putting game that afternoon, but it definitely helped me to think about what goes into each individual putt.
We finished our drill and realized that we were most likely going to miss our tee times if we attempted to eat lunch. However, food is a priority of mine. And the rest of the team too it turns out. So we headed back to the house and were lucky that we could get our tee times switched with the College of Charleston women’s team that was also playing Cougar this afternoon.
It was at this lunch hour that Emily introduced us to Lemme Smang It.
We arrived at Cougar and within minutes I (perhaps I am the most pitiable?) was sent on a diplomatic mission to make sure we could use carts. The divas just wanted to drive. We again split up into groups in order to determine who would be doing dishes. Seeing at it was actually sunny and warm today and my fingers had finally un-pruned from the last three days of rain, I really wanted to win. So did Becky, Georgi and Izzy.
Cougar was an absolutely beautiful course. I know I keep saying this every time I begin to describe a course, but the combination of the actual course layout and architecture and the sun and sunscreen really created an initially enjoyable experience. The course was tough. There were a lot of bunkers and hazards–many of which I opted to hit into, multiple times. And turning in a decent score was a lot about placement.
I learned a great deal about myself on the 7th hole today when I cut a drive perfectly around a dog-leg right only to find it within 10 yards of an alligator. There was no way I was not going to hit the shot because about two minutes earlier I had thought I had lost it into the surprise pond. However, it wasn’t until I was five feet from my ball that I saw him (it was definitely a him) and he saw me. He opened his angry little reptile eyes as I approached my ball. I have since been informed that alligators only eat once every two or so weeks because it takes them that long to digest their meals. This must mean that they eat entire deer in one sitting. I’ve seen a fair number of deer and I assure you that I am a tastier morsel. I had to have my back to him while hitting, and to be honest I had no idea when this particular gator’s last gorging had been. I have always wondered what my fight or flight response would be in the case of wild animal attack. I’ve now learned that I am most likely to vomit and play dead. I felt nauseated during the entire experience and was pretty sure his head moved as I was taking my particularly earth unsettling practice swings. As soon as I hit my ball, I high-tailed it out of there. Only when we got to the little green did I look back and realize that there had been two gators–at least one of them must have been ready to tuck in for his bi-weekly meal.
On the 12th (or 13th…I’ll be honest, I have minimal sense of hole numbers when I play beyond 1,2 and 18) Emily and Victoria saved my sixth or seventh newly marked ball of the day (some of you are starting to catch on that this was a very tumultuous round of golf). I lofted my tee shot on the par three high into the sky, and it was headed towards someone’s hole-side house. Luckily the two were driving towards us along the tree-covered cart path, and when my unintentional fade chose to fall from the sky (now getting starry) and my playing partners yelled “Fore,” Emily stepped on the gas (or battery…) and accelerated right into my golf ball, which then landed in an entirely playable lie on the almost fairway.
Our round came to a close in the dark after we played through a group of dudes that were just out “hangin.” Although yesterday was some of the least fun night golfing I have ever played (playing out of bounds to provisional to hazard to sand trap is never fun), it was really rewarding to finish up another full round of 18 holes. We didn’t arrive back at 309 Ocean Oaks until almost 9PM, but got dinner on the table by 9:30. How unintentionally European of us.
Tomorrow we are leaving on a jet plane. It is incredibly sad as I don’t really know when I’ll be back again. And babe, I hate to go back to snow dusted Williamstown. This has been a fantastic trip. Despite the elements and my temperamental blood sugar, I will leave Kiawah with the fondest of memories. And although we didn’t meet Bagger Vance, we did still meet a few local legends.
Thanks for reading, all ten of you.
Peace, love, golf