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19th Hole

The Things I Do to Play Golf

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It’s 9:00 p.m. on a random Thursday evening in November. It’s dark, cold, and I’m exhausted. I’ve seen a deer, a frog, and I’ve had two neighbors asked me what I was doing. Technically, one asked me what I was doing; the other asked me if I was nuts.  Either way, for the past 3 hours I’ve been outside cleaning up leaves… in the dark. My feet are numb, my nose is running, and I can barely feel my fingertips.

How did I get to this point? It all started back on Tuesday when I checked the forecast and saw that it was going to be sunny and in the mid 60s. For a guy in the Midwest, this is like finding a unicorn or seeing Sasquatch. To have this kind of weather in mid-to-late November — and on a weekend no less! It’s what we dream about. I knew I had a lot going on the rest of the week, but nonetheless I followed my standard operating procedure of booking a tee time and asking questions later.

This is where things got a little dicey. I had put off a few things last weekend to play 18 holes on Sunday, so I was going to have an uphill battle. It also may have slipped my mind that my wife and I were going to dinner on Friday evening with some friends. So I basically had two days to get two weeks worth of errands and chores done.

I started off Wednesday morning by picking up a few things at Walgreens on my way to the office. Then, in what turned out to be a brilliant move, I went to the grocery store at lunch. Why was this so brilliant you ask? Well, in addition to needing groceries, my wife needed a whole list full of items for several upcoming events we (she) was hosting. Since I was heading back to the office, I picked up every item on the list that didn’t need to be kept cold, which was the majority of the list. Then on my way back, I picked up my dry cleaning and some Chick-Fil-A.

After work, I had to pick up my daughter from dance practice. This is where I made a do-or-die decision to go to a second grocery store in the same day. I managed to pick up the remaining items on the list and pulled up to the pickup line at the dance studio just as the girls were walking out. BOOM! That’s what I’m talking about! As we drove home, I was feeling pretty good about myself, but I knew I wasn’t out of the woods yet.

Thursday was just as productive as the day before. I managed to get to my doctor’s appointment, pick up a prescription and make a quick run to Target. I was starting to get cocky. All I had to do was get the leaves taken care of after work and I was home free. Unfortunately, that feeling of cockiness ended as soon as soon as I pulled up to my house. I expected that there was going to be a decent number of leaves since I hadn’t picked any up the previous weekend. What I didn’t expect was for the wind to have picked up in the afternoon and blown all of my neighbors leaves into my yard as well. I sat in my car for a second to pump myself up.

I envisioned myself on the course on Saturday (sunny, 65 degrees, and sitting at even par with three holes to play). Then I got out of my car and was slapped across the face with a 20 mph gust of wind. I may have let out a squeal before I scurried inside like an 8-year-old who had been playing in the snow too long. After changing out of my suit, I put on enough layers to make me look like the Michelin Man. I trudged outside like a man on a mission.

This brings us back to where we started. I was cold and miserable, but there wasn’t a leaf in sight by the time I was done. After a glass of scotch by the fireplace, I went to bed. I woke up a little sore, embarrassingly.

“I can’t believe you really did that last night,” my wife said. My response: “Totally worth it!”

Saturday was absolutely perfect. The weather was great. To my surprise the course was fairly wide open, and I played pretty well. I enjoyed a great cigar afterward at the outdoor bar and my wife met me for dinner later. I really can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon in November.

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Joe Ruggeri is a former collegiate golfer from Missouri who is probably one of the most competitive guys you will ever meet. He describes his non-golf profession as "what he has to do so he can fund his golf habit." Twitter: @Joey_Ruggeri Email: [email protected] Youtube: coming soon

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Gordon

    Dec 11, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    You have the wrong wife!!

  2. Hardcore Looper

    Dec 10, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    That is hardcore. You earned that round.

  3. DoubleMochaMan

    Dec 10, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Joe, the leaves could have waited… they weren’t going anywhere except back to your neighbors’ lawns during the next wind storm. I am with you though on the scotch by the fireplace and the post-round cigar. Was that a single malt?

    P.S. I grew up in St. Louis sneaking onto the best private country clubs.

    • Joe Ruggeri

      Dec 12, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      Yes, single malt. I have a decent little collection of single malts….which is the cabinet door I went straight to that night. Thanks for reading the article.

  4. Jim

    Dec 9, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Totally agree with the desire to keep playing as long as possible they fall and winter. Me neighbors think I’m crazy playing in the winter when it’s below 30 degrees out bit it’s worth it. Unfortunately planning all this week to play and now I’m staring at 6″ of snow instead. Hoping for a big melt for next weekend to play (that even sounds crazy to me).

  5. chinchbugs

    Dec 9, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Spot. On. #Midwest

  6. kris bretz

    Dec 9, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I think the main point I got from your article is how whipped you are.
    Haha kidding

    • Scott

      Dec 9, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Yeah here in Nebraska we’ve been blessed with warm weather last weekend first of Dec was in 60s tomm in the 50s and weekend before Xmas supposed to be in the upper 40s

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19th Hole

Ralph Lauren drops Justin Thomas following homophobic slur

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On Friday evening, Ralph Lauren announced that they had ended their partnership with Justin Thomas after the latter uttered a homophobic slur at last week’s Tournament of Champions.

In a statement, Ralph Lauren expressed that while discontinuing their longstanding relationship, they hope that “Mr. Thomas does the hard and necessary work in order to partner with us again…using his platform to promote inclusion.”

The incident which led to JT being dropped from the brand occurred on the 4th hole during the third round of the Tournament of Champions – which you can see in the video below.

 

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A post shared by GolfHound (@g.o.l.f.hound)

Following the third round at the Tournament of Champions, Thomas told Golf Channel:

“There’s just no excuse. I’m an adult; I’m a grown man. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It’s terrible. I’m extremely embarrassed. It’s not who I am. It’s not the kind of person that I am. But it’s … unfortunately I did it, and I have to own up to it, and I’m very apologetic.

Like I said, it’s inexcusable. I’m speechless. It’s bad. There’s no other way to put it. I need to do better. I need to be better. It’s definitely a learning experience. I deeply apologize to anyone, and everybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it.”

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19th Hole

Social media divided over Bubba Watson’s new Ping iron covers

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On Wednesday, Bubba Watson did what most people do these days when they receive a gift they are excited about – post it on social media and find out what everyone else thinks.

However, the item in question is perhaps the most divisive piece of equipment in golf, and users are split on the new Ping iron covers which the two-time Masters champ was showcasing.

In the like camp:

While there was also plenty of disdain for the covers:

What do you think of Bubba’s new Ping iron covers, WRXers?

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19th Hole

Twitter mercilessly roasts Tom Watson’s bizarre headphone game

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Social media users were left bemused during round one’s coverage of the Sony Open, after seeing Tom Watson appear for an interview wearing his headphones in a frankly bizarre manner.

CBS’ Kyle Porter was quick to jump on the oddity, tweeting: “Legit never seen another human wear headphones like Tom Watson wears them.”

What followed was an all out roast where Twitter users mercilessly mocked the new fashion statement from Tom Watson with some hilarious responses.

However, Watson did receive some support, with one user declaring that: He’s Tom Watson! He can wear them any way he wants!”

Either way, I don’t see Watson’s headphone game setting a trend anytime soon!

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