I May Need My Head Examined

March 30, 2018

Then again, maybe not.

After being bored beyond belief watching the ANA in the flesh yesterday, I decided to do the Araby Trail once more but this time solo.

I started at 8:30 instead of noon and eschewed the forced, goose-stepping pace set by drill sergeant Mark Scott. It took me twenty-five minutes to reach the fifteen-minute mark we set together and a total of fifty-five to the top. Not bad. I’m in better shape than I thought.

I actually thought of following a different path down but didn’t wish to bite off more than necessary. I did look for an alternate route on my phone and one of the options was a ride on Uber for $9.00. Smile That technology needs tuning.

If I had the cash, I’d spend the winter here and explore more trails.

My brother Ron goes under the knife in Orlando for bypass surgery tomorrow. Happy thoughts. Fingers crossed

ANA volunteers were issued trousers with their uniform but shorts are allowed starting today. Too many old folks over-heating.

One of the caddies had a home-made pizza party yesterday and both Dave and Rob attended. Good eats I heard.

Just cleaned out all the outdated edibles in Dave’s fridge. There was stuff there from 2010!


Stairway To Heaven?

March 29, 2018

More like Hades. Tuesday, Mark asked if I would like to go on a hike the next day and I said sure. Little did I know what type of hell he had in store.

First of all, he picks me up at noon (not the best time of day to start a hike in Palm Springs) and headed for the trailhead.

We hiked the Araby Trail which took us passed Bob hope’s former residence which sits high up on the mountain. We rested there and Mark checked his watch. He noted that it usually took thirty minutes to get to that point but we did it in fifteen. Thanks Mark!

Araby Trailhead

We were fifteen minutes from the top and he gave me the option to go on or head back. I told him it was like watching a bad movie with only a few minutes remaining. You watch to the end. So we continued on.

Mark on Araby Trail

My heart was pounding and legs turning to Jell-O but I was resolute to finish the hike. Mark was equipped with hiking poles and shoes to match while I wore a pair of Hoka sneakers. Not a fair match in my estimation. That’s as good an excuse as any for not keeping up.

Mark and Larry Araby Trail end

Of course, a selfie was mandatory at the top.

The way down settled my heart but the rest of me was doing an impression of Gumby.

Mark made a friend just before we finished. His name was Jack.

Mark and horse

I thought there would be more hell to pay this morning but I was wrong. Felt pretty good.

Went to the course this morning. Christie Kerr and Shanshan were paired together. From a distance, I couldn’t tell them apart. SmileOnly had a gallery of 30 or so.

Brooke Henderson had a good gallery. Plenty of Canadians down here this time of year.

As a few of the caddies were standing by the putting green on Monday, A warning of “Here comes the dragon lady,” was uttered and I responded with, “Which one?” It was Lucy Li’s mom.

A Gathering of Friends

March 28, 2018

It was not a somber tribute to our fallen campadres yesterday but a celebration. Donna Earley, Greg’s long-time companion, organized the event so it was was mostly centered on Greg’s contributions to the tour. Food and libations were provided and of course, caddie stories filled the air. Heather Daly-Donofrio Gave a short speech and Motion lead us in a toast to Greg.

Greg tribute Mission Hills 2018

Heather recalled that she teamed with Greg twice and when someone shouted out “How did it go?” she answered, “We missed the cut both times!” which had everyone cracking up.

One anecdote Heather shared was when Greg worked for her in the US Open at Pumpkin Ridge. Greg insisted it was a course designed for a draw and her fade would not do, so he tried to rework her swing. It didn’t go well. The Open is not exactly the time to make a change like that.

Rob Sanders is staying with Dave also and he has his own lengthy LPGA volunteer career. Rob has worked many events including Malaysia and Japan. His favorite duty is walking scorer and goes around twice a day sometimes.

Before the real work begins, Dave still had a few chores remaining. Rob used a reciprocating saw to trim one of the backyard trees that was too close to the house and I hauled off the debris. His next task was installing a light fixture in the guest bath while I spit and polished the ceiling fan in the living room and fixed the loose handle on the fridge.

I love the subtle hints Dave drops when something needs to be done. Like, “Did you notice the steam floor cleaner in the closet?” Smile

Dave has added another property to his list of rentals. This one is in the Tennis Villas at Mission Hills. Here’s the link to his Light and Airy unit on VRBO. Think I’ll change his nickname from “Volunteer Dave” to “West Coast Louie”.

Heard Jill McGill is now living in Cabo San Lucas and has a position at Cabo del Sol Resort. Then there’s always this to look forward to. Cancun isn’t the only Mexican resort city riddled with murders

Dave is volunteering in Hawaii as usual but noted last year there were only 200 signed up to help. Not a good sign. He’s doing LA as well which is also hurting for volunteers.

Then there was this:

High cost remains biggest barrier to diversity in golf

In Memoriam

March 25, 2018

A get-together in memory of three fallen caddies will be held on Tuesday at the 17th green from 5-7 pm. Louis McIntosh, Clay Triolo, and Greg Sheridan will be honored.


A Good Walk Unspoiled

March 25, 2018

Followed Lotta and Mark during today’s round of the ANA Inspiration Legends Day. The team shot a stellar ten under par and Mark toted Lotta’s tour sack all the way. I was there for backup just in case.

Lotta and Mark ANA Inspiration

As we walked to the 17th tee, Mark waved me over and asked if I would put the bag on my shoulder and wondered if I thought it was heavy. I thought it was a little and then he told me the reason why. They were used to having it on a buggy and forgot to pull out the two dozen extra pellets that were tucked away inside!

Had dinner with Dianne and Mark Scott Friday at La Casita Restaurant. We caught up (with me doing most of the talking Smile) and laughed throughout the entire time.

In exchange for a place to rest my head, Dave had a few chores lined up. The blinds in the guest bedroom had a gap between the slats but turned out that one of the cords were maladjusted. No problem.

The vertical blinds in Dave’s room would not close all the way which let too much light enter the room. After watching a fix on YouTube, I got them to close but I think the plastic gears are stripped and have to be replaced.

Finally, a new HP all-in-one computer Dave purchased was running at a snail’s pace. That one was easy.  I performed a reset and now it’s running fine.

Along with a new ride, I finally replaced my ancient Lenovo laptop with another of the same brand. This one is a 710 Yoga with a 256 GB SSD, 8 GB of RAM and a 1HD screen. Nice.

Westward Ho’d! – 2018

March 22, 2018

Well, it was time to hit the road at least one more time.

Departed early in the morn on Monday and Motel 6’d it on the far side of Houston that night. Next stop was a Days Inn in El Paso and arrived at Rancho Mirage CA at 4PM yesterday afternoon.

My final destination was volunteer Dave’s place right down the street from the home of the ANA Championship (The Dinah to all my friends). Will be spending some time here and may try to get a bag at the Symetra event in Beaumont after the ANA.

I replaced my ‘03 Sable with a 2010 Avalon Limited. I was impressed with the Nerd’s similar purchase last year so I followed suit. Extremely comfortable ride and averaged 29.6 mpg on the trip. Not bad for its size and peppy engine. A surprising bonus was the absence of the ubiquitous aches and pains from a three-day, 2400 mile drive.

Stayed at The Nerd’s place during the winter. He left a few days before me but just before he did, he had a tree removed next to the fish pond (don’t ask) and we put up a fence in two days. Nothing like a little time pressure to get the job done.

Rick's fence

On a sad note, Tom Hanson former LPGA caddie and sports writer, passed away Tuesday. Here is the Facebook post from his sister Becca Hanson Carpenter.

As some of you may know, my brother Tom Hanson passed away suddenly on Tuesday morning. He was the master of the written word and I sit here at a loss for them. First, I want to thank everyone who has reached out to our family with their kind words and offerings of help at this most difficult time. Please know we read every comment and appreciate all the special stories. My brother Bob said it well… “He will be missed and March Madness will never be the same … another #1 seed goes down too early”

His memorial service and celebration of life will be held this
Saturday, March 24th at 11am at
Stephenson- Nelson Funeral Home
4001 Sebring Parkway
Sebring, Fl 33870

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