I am reminiscing already as the one-year anniversary of the PGA golf tournament approaches. The PGA was held at The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, last year. A work colleague made it possible for some of my family and friends and me to attend each day.
Kiawah in the middle of August is not for the faint of heart. It was sweltering hot and the fire ants and crowds were an occasional challenge. Of all the pictures we took I am especially fond of the one where my daughter Heather and I were photographed with the scorekeeper of the threesome that included winner Rory McIlroy. We took the picture at the end of the tournament as we were leaving after a long day sitting on the edge of the 18th green. Rory smoked the field and won by 8 strokes!
The other picture is a close up of some sea oats that keep the beach from eroding on the edge of the course where it meets the ocean.
Golf courses are fascinating. The Ocean Course holds the record as the longest in yards for the PGA tournament. The course is obviously sandy. There is the occasional and much appreciated southern Live Oak that dons the course, and of course Palmetto trees abound with pampa grass. There are ponds and water hazards that look rather mundane like any other golf course. Yet, to the east there is the Atlantic Ocean with wave after wave rolling onto the grayish-white soft sand of our beautiful coast. I hope one day to play the Ocean Course but for the time being the memories of walking the course with my kids will suffice.
Sitting between the 8th and 9th holes (if I remember rightly but not sure) gives a patron the opportunity to watch the tee and green play from two different holes, which is double the fun. Between two holes we sat and stood on the sand dune that faced northwest. The wind blew from the east and from the Atlantic. My shoes filled with tiny grains of sand as the wind blew them around and world glass golfers played on some of the most beautiful greens in the USA. Golf courses have a spiritual feel for me—at least when I make par or an occasional birdie!
Golf is a great way to exercise, to recalibrate one’s soul, and to enjoy nature. I asked my playing partner if he had seen any snakes on our local course recently and he said, “One or two, not many.” Next time you are on a course, take time to soak in all that Nature and God’s creation has to offer. A refreshed soul will be the result.