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The art of the post-work round

post-work round jeff singer

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#1 zakkozuchowski

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:43 PM

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The art of the post-work round

Jeff Singer

GolfWRX Contributor

For most of us, golf is not a job. Maybe we wish it was, or dream it was, but for many of us golf will never pay the bills. This is unfortunate of course because bills need to be paid, kids need to go to school, food needs to be put on the table.

For most, the sport represents an outlet from all of that, or maybe just a way to spend time with your friends, or maybe a way to fit some competition into your life which has become difficult as you get older (you try joining a rec basketball league and avoid getting stabbed over a no-foul call). Or it's possible golf is for you, as it is for many, simply an obsession. And that means you need to fit in as much golf as humanly possible, which of course leads us to the art of the post work round.

It's not as easy as it sounds. You have responsibilities at home, clingy friends and coworkers who want to drink beer with you after work. The there's traffic to fight, and of course the sun slowly rotating away and taking away precious daylight with it (stupid solar system!). So fitting in a genuine post work round can be difficult, but take it from someone pretty good at it -- it's far from impossible. Just follow a few easy guidelines.

**** note 1: this applies mostly to people who live in areas that have defined golf seasons, like the northeast, where you have a limited number of days where you can actually play golf, hence the need to fit in as much as possible. If you live in an area where you can play year round golf, please refer to note 2:

**** note 2: I hate you

OK, so where were we? Ah yes, the guidelines:

Pick an active partner

Golf partner? Ummm, no. Pick an active life partner. In fact, pick a partner in general, because if you don't you probably ARE going to spend most of your post work time drinking beer with coworkers at popular establishments. Great for meeting women, bad for your golf game. But that's another article. Having a wife or girlfriend with her own agenda is a great thing. They tend to do things like bikram yoga (no idea what that is) or have dinners at vegan restaurants (ditto) or go with their friends to see movies starring guys named Ryan, be it Gosling or Reynolds (sidenote, if you are going to get dragged to this Gosling is much better. Have you seen "Drive" or "The Ides of March"? Quality flicks, but I digress). Anyway, the point is this: If you want to play golf after work, you need a free night to do this on. There are only so many passes you can get from the missus, so pick one who is active too. Just ummm, don't play golf with her. Because....

Night rounds work better solo

You've got maybe two and a half hours to sneak in a round after work. You know what makes that difficult? Playing partners. They gab, they lose balls, they line up putts, they are witnesses to what you shot so you can't post a 72 even if you shot a ... wait, forget I said that last thing. Anyway, you have to be on a mission to get this done, and a dilly dallying friend isn't the way to do it. The courses are mostly empty at this hour anyway, and I don't know about you but after a long day at work there is something peaceful about a solo round at sunset. There's plenty of time for camaraderie on the weekend.

Plan ahead

Every minute counts, so planning is essential. This encompasses everything about the round including travel. Know alternate routes to the course if there is traffic -- there are always back roads that are less used during rush hour. Keep your golf bag on you rather then leaving it at the course. There's nothing worse then seeing that foursome go out in front of you while your waiting at the bag drop for your gear. Keep a spare set of spikes in the trunk so you don't need to go to your locker. Wear a pair of pants to work that you can wear on the course after (unless your work requires a full blown suit and tie, this should be possible) because it takes only a few seconds to change a shirt, but pants are more difficult. Also, nothing worse then people walking by your car while you are inside not wearing pants, because getting a round in isn't worth a public lewdness conviction. If you plan this right you can park your car and be on the first tee in minutes.

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Know your courses layout

We all know the feeling, you are rolling along through 5 or 6 holes and then, of course, the late night group of foursomes. Look, I've got nothing against late night foursomes, they have a right to play the course just like you do. They do seem very intent on finishing the round EXACTLY at sundown though, ensuring that no group behind them can finish theirs. Playing through will do you no good as you'll just run into a couple more groups, and in one of those groups there is bound to be the stickler that simply will not allow anyone to play through and believes singles have no business on a golf course. Not here to debate that, only to point out that you are better off knowing where you can cut through and skip a few holes.

Getting back to seeing an open course while also not impeding their play: Every course winds and turns in some way that there are good cutoff points, alleyways and drainage pipes that you can crawl through like Andy Dufresne and woods that you can backpack through to find either the eighth tee box or possibly the Blair Witch. Simply, know your course and know where you can cut some corners. Playing 15 holes is a lot better then playing 9 holes.

Play ready golf (and ummm, you should always be ready)

This starts on the first tee, which apart from your girlfriend telling you she feels sick in the morning is the most stressful moment in your life. Nothing worse then getting ready to tee off on the first tee, maybe getting in a quick stretch and a few practice swings, and then seeing Slow-Play Mcgee walking up to the first tee. You pretend you don't see him, you realize it's time to get your butt in gear and get ready to tee off, only to hear:


"Hey! want to play together?"


Your heart sinks faster then it did when your girlfriend told you it was a Ryan Gosling movie and it turned out to be a Reynolds one. Getting off the first tee requires almost ninja like talent. You need to get from your car to the tee box without being spotted. Wait for the opportune moment, or simply stuff your golf bag with flash or smoke grenades. If you choose the latter, you might freak out some people, but hey at least they won't ask you to play with them. So there's that.

Getting off the first tee is important because at that point you are on your own and you can play fast. If you want to get in a full round I suggest taking minimal practice swings and not going all spider-man on every putt. You'll probably notice that this won't even affect your scores that much, and even if it does, who cares! No one is watching!
You totally made that putt on No. 7 right? Yup. And that ball wasn't in the water on No. 12. It was like, pretty much on the fairway in a good lie. How did it end up there? Lucky bounce I suppose! Oh well that is golf, try and tell me that that isn't golf.

Be a post-9 detective

An underrated part of maximizing your ability to play night golf? When you finish 9 holes, where do you go? Did people tee off after you? Are people ahead of you? Better size up the situation bub, because time's a wasting big guy. It's always nice to play a variety of holes so my philosophy is always to continue playing the course in order if you haven't seen too many people out there. But if you've always seen that group in the distance, it may be worth it to head back to the first tee. If it's about  7 or 8 p.m. by now, chances are people haven't teed off on the first in a while.  More unimpeded golf is in your future.

You know how to get to Carnegie Hall don't you? Practice, Practice, Practice

Sometimes things just don't work out for you. The course is packed, there was traffic and you are waiting on every tee box. Sometimes it's just best to throw in the towel and realize you are not going to get a full 18 holes in. That doesn't mean though that you can't get something out of this, and once you've realized that 18 is out of the question, suddenly being on the back of the bus is pretty key. In fact now it's actually better to be the last group on the course and might even be worth letting that twosome behind you play through. That way while you are waiting there is a huge practice facility at your disposal: bunkers, greens, actual rough to chip out of, etc. Don't go to 100 yds and start taking divots you fool! But practicing around the green doesn't hurt the course and gives you the chance to work on your short game. Then when you get home at least you can feel like you accomplished something.

Posted Image

Lastly, don't quit your day job

I understand you'd rather be playing golf then working. But you know what isn't great? Having all day every day to play golf because you don't have a job. Always remember to respect the workplace, don't duck out early unless you have very understanding coworkers and you are going to make up the time, or at least have all your work done. Pick days to play where you don't have meetings or assignments due. Don't let golf affect your day job, because when it's all said and done, you gotta remember what is important. And of course, if you have any option what-so-ever, try and work for a boss who is also a golfer. We call that the jackpot.

Now that you know this, go out and play 90 rounds this year my friends! See you at the course. Actually, you won't see me. Because I am a ninja.


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#2 HoosierHacker89

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:03 PM

It is always something that i am trying to do. I really like to play in the evenings, but it can be very hard depending on the day. It is awesome in june when it gets dark at 10 and no one is on the course
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#3 MtlJeff

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:13 PM

This year my wife was in europe for a month and i basically became an expert. I think in the month of July i probably played 20-22 rounds and that is with a full time job
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#4 Sushiyoshi

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

I've become and expert at this.  Just today, left work at 2:30PM.  Teed off by 2:50PM.  Finished right before 5PM and have been back at my desk for an hour doing some work.

#5 SheriffBooth

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:21 PM

Nice article, Jeff.  Good to have someone injecting a little humor into all the serious business around here.

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#6 Shiram

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:09 PM

Gosh I miss the after work rounds. You have to be careful to avoid league nights but if you schedule things correctly it's golden time! Until the sun starts setting before 6pm and makes things impossible.

The pick a great partner is right on. My wife never begrudges me an after work round - and in fact encourages it! This season we also played almost every Friday together after work.

#7 tocino

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:34 PM

I used to get bummed when daylight savings time ended in the fall because it takes about an hour to get back to my house with traffic. I'd have maybe 30- 40 min of daylight left to do anything... Well I just found out that there's a muni course about 15 min away from my job!  I definitely see myself playing at least 1 round after work every week!!! Yay for year-round golf!!! =P
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#8 DublinBomber

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:42 AM

its great over here..my boss lets me leave at 430 twice a week to go golf, so my buddy from work and i end up getting to the course at around 6:00 which is before most people get to the course (and at the peak of summer, sunset isn't until 930)

Ive actually been able to get 27 holes in one night after work
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#9 Kadin 25

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:57 AM

Nice read Jeff!

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#10 mmack067

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:30 AM

I lucked out big-time this summer. My office used to be down town Ottawa and has moved about 10 minutes (with traffic) from my course - I think that I was the only person not opposed to the move. We have flexible hours, so I'm at my desk around 7, on the tee about 3:15 every day during the playing months. Business casual in the summer basically means golf clothes for me. It's deluxe.

Another good way is to find a partner who works shift works (Doctor, nurse, etc). 2 weeks of freedom and nothing on the schedule at night.

Hey Jeff, where do you play in Montreal? Some great tracks around there with Royal, Summerlea, Beaconsfield...

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#11 Bluefan75

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:17 AM

Ditto on the great boss thing.  I can come in at 7 leave at 3 and be on the course by 4.  From late April to early September that is usually enough time to get in 18 holes.  Sometimes it's a 2 hour thing, sometimes 4, but it can be done.

#12 duffer987

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:41 AM

There is also the flip-side to this and that is pre-work golf. Yes, yes, I much prefer after-work and twilight golf, as it gives me something to look forward to while at work, but if I can tee-off at 6:30am, whip around the course so that I am leaving there at 9-ish. HOV lane restrictions have ended and I can be in before 10am, which is still ahead of a lot of my coworkers :)

It is one of those odd things about IT, no one bats an eyelid when you show up 'late', but leave 'early' and you can get those inquisitive stares.

It isn't as fun as chasing the sunset, and typically isn't as cheap if you are a daily fee player, but is an option.
The early and late rounds are also the two times I actually prefer to play as a single, for expedience sake, otherwise I find I always play better with someone than solo.
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#13 tmfool

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:47 AM

good stuff -- quick 9 after work definitely an art, especially if you can still be home for dinner w/ family
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#14 Socrates

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:21 AM

Just Great!!  There you go again!  Educating the masses.   Now we're going to have a bunch of ninjas(z?) sneaking all over the damn course.  It's going to be a like "Whack-a-Mole" out there.  Just when you think the coast is clear, another ninja pops up. ;)

Good Stuff, again!!
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#15 sonofagunn

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:05 AM

Lol, this post describes my Summer golf perfectly. I am a master at these skills!


#16 dplasters

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 11:17 AM

The finishing touch to the article is that this is posted in Instruction/Academy.  Good Stuff.

#17 MDP1555

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:12 PM

As a co-owner operator and head pro of our family own Golf club, "post work" rounds is all I ever have time to play for the most part :( Some times during the week when the course is relaitivly empty I will sneek out and play  #1 (par 5 560y), #2 (par 4 420y), #3 (par 3 180y) and # 4 (par 4 380Y up hill all the way). This gets me back to the pro shop. I will do this a couple times a week if the weather is nice and if I can break away from my duties.

Edited by MDP1555, 04 December 2012 - 12:12 PM.


#18 Blakester

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

I started playing "lunch-time 9s" this year.  The course is usualy pretty slow Wed or Thurs around 1pm and I can ride 9 holes in about 1 hour 30 minutes (1:45 if I shower after!) and be back at my desk before anyone is the wiser!
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#19 Sean2

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:55 PM

Great article Jeff!

"Hey! want to play together?" lol
Hey...be nice.

#20 MtlJeff

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:09 PM

View Postmmack067, on 04 December 2012 - 08:30 AM, said:

I lucked out big-time this summer. My office used to be down town Ottawa and has moved about 10 minutes (with traffic) from my course - I think that I was the only person not opposed to the move. We have flexible hours, so I'm at my desk around 7, on the tee about 3:15 every day during the playing months. Business casual in the summer basically means golf clothes for me. It's deluxe.

Another good way is to find a partner who works shift works (Doctor, nurse, etc). 2 weeks of freedom and nothing on the schedule at night.

Hey Jeff, where do you play in Montreal? Some great tracks around there with Royal, Summerlea, Beaconsfield...

Well those are nice courses....I actually live next to one of them. But guess again!

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#21 MtlJeff

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:25 PM

View PostSean2, on 04 December 2012 - 04:55 PM, said:

Great article Jeff!

"Hey! want to play together?" lol

the truest part of the whole article is the first tee Ninja thing. That is huge. I am thisclose to not even stopping forward momentum on the first tee. I basically put the ball down and start my backswing in the same motion. And then i'm running like Usain Bolt to get out of earshot to anyone walking up who might want to play together

like i said, i love the camaraderie of golf.....on the weekend
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#22 Timothy1

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:43 PM

Great read.. I'm also a proponent of the pre-work round.. On the first tee at 05H30 and nine holes done by just after seven - that's with some short game practice round the greens too..

Guaranteed there'll be no one else on the course and just my footprints and putting lines in the early morning dew ... priceless.

#23 MDP1555

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:10 PM

View PostTimothy1, on 05 December 2012 - 12:43 PM, said:

Great read.. I'm also a proponent of the pre-work round.. On the first tee at 05H30 and nine holes done by just after seven - that's with some short game practice round the greens too..

Guaranteed there'll be no one else on the course and just my footprints and putting lines in the early morning dew ... priceless.

5:30am the odd are pretty high you will be fighting the grounds crew mowing for the days play and the sprinkler system directly after mowing. Most cources will not  be finished with daily mowing and morning watering untntil between 630am to 730am.

Edited by MDP1555, 05 December 2012 - 01:13 PM.


#24 TheCityGame

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:45 PM

"Look, I've got nothing against late night foursomes, they have a right to play the course just like you do. They do seem very intent on finishing the round EXACTLY at sundown though, ensuring that no group behind them can finish theirs."

Yeah, we sort of plan it that way so that we can stay at work as long as possible and still finish before dark. Nothing like a 4:00 tee time and still getting it in, maybe even get in an extra hole.

But, I get what singles are trying to do out there. We're real generous about letting them through, and usually they just want to race on through.

#25 dogsbe

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:54 PM

Oh this is dead funny.  I have to say that I am a master of the post work round.  In fact, I get to play everyday without too much grief from my work or wife.

A couple of things to add.  The big things is really food.  You don't want to stop to get something to eat after work, so make a spare sandwich and keep it fresh.  Candy bars and fruit is really not enough if you are looking at getting home after dark.  

If you are not playing on a day, e.g. it is raining cats and dogs, use the time wisely to keep the boss or your wife happy.  

If your wife is not naturally active, make her active.  Every xmas, I always buy her a hobby.  

Yes, solo rounds are best.  However, I will tell people that I tee off at 4pm.  If they want a game, they will know I am there.  I don't think a two ball is any slower than a single.  Somebody has to get the flag.  A spare set of eyes is good when the sun is setting.


#26 HoosierHacker89

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:34 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 04 December 2012 - 06:09 PM, said:

View Postmmack067, on 04 December 2012 - 08:30 AM, said:

I lucked out big-time this summer. My office used to be down town Ottawa and has moved about 10 minutes (with traffic) from my course - I think that I was the only person not opposed to the move. We have flexible hours, so I'm at my desk around 7, on the tee about 3:15 every day during the playing months. Business casual in the summer basically means golf clothes for me. It's deluxe.

Another good way is to find a partner who works shift works (Doctor, nurse, etc). 2 weeks of freedom and nothing on the schedule at night.

Hey Jeff, where do you play in Montreal? Some great tracks around there with Royal, Summerlea, Beaconsfield...

Well those are nice courses....I actually live next to one of them. But guess again!

it actually works out well the other way too. I am a nurse, and my wife works monday through friday. I have like atleast  1 or 2 days a week that i am free to play all day!
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#27 stage1350

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:26 PM

One addendum to Jeff's advice for the golfers that are now plagued by poor weather: the 10 day forecast from the Weather Channel.  At one of my old jobs, I'd carefully stake out days with my boss when I could arrive early and leave early to take advantage of good weather days.  Why be stuck with 8:30-5:30 when you can occasionally pull off a 6:30-3:30 and sneak out early.

Clearing it with the boss and locking time in Outlook quickly can help avoid last minute meetings that can block your hasty exit.  If your boss knows your enjoyment of golf and you have a good reputation of meeting your goals on-time, they should be a little understanding when you have a 65° Tuesday in the middle of December.

Edited by stage1350, 05 December 2012 - 05:27 PM.

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#28 MtlJeff

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:38 PM

View Poststage1350, on 05 December 2012 - 05:26 PM, said:

One addendum to Jeff's advice for the golfers that are now plagued by poor weather: the 10 day forecast from the Weather Channel.  At one of my old jobs, I'd carefully stake out days with my boss when I could arrive early and leave early to take advantage of good weather days.  Why be stuck with 8:30-5:30 when you can occasionally pull off a 6:30-3:30 and sneak out early.

Clearing it with the boss and locking time in Outlook quickly can help avoid last minute meetings that can block your hasty exit.  If your boss knows your enjoyment of golf and you have a good reputation of meeting your goals on-time, they should be a little understanding when you have a 65° Tuesday in the middle of December.

My former boss was a lifelong golfer and member of a prestigious club here. It was actually really great, i mean he wasn't easy on me or anything, i had to get my work done and couldn't pull this stuff when we had numbers to hit at the end of the month etc. But yeah i had no problem telling him i was taking a random wednesday off for golf, or leaving a few minutes early here and there to get in a night round. He was really understanding as long as it didn't affect my work
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#29 Fore_Man

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:11 PM

There's an absolute art to it.  Once mastered you'll never have to ask your wife to play on the weekend again, nor will you really want to!  Well done Jeff!!!  


-You must know when sundown is.
- know that 10 minutes can mean 17 holes verses 18.
- You must know when the rates change.
- Weather watching is a must.  Many times 'chance of showers' will scare away others.
- clothing for all weather in the trunk always.
- 2 fast golfers is best.  3 can be too many.
- always be quick off first tee
- always ask if going of 10 is a better option.
- course layout knowledge is a must
- skip holes and double back if you must.
- early in and early out of the office is great if you can pull it off
- half days from work are your best friend!  That means 2 rounds for 1 day off.
- work hard.  Play hard.



#30 stage1350

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:55 PM

I loved my local 9 hole Muni.  Directly on the way home from work and I could walk 9 for dirt cheap.  A perfect place to hang out before I had to go home and fight with a crazy b-otch.  Man, I don't miss that relationship at all!!!

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