It’s not every day that a hundred dapper businessmen from every nook and cranny of the globe come together to display their golfing prowess. But when they do, Mother Nature, it seems, likes to play a little prank.
You see, we were all converging on this jaw-droppingly beautiful private golf course in Chicago for a three-day golf jamboree. This wasn’t just any golf course; this was a course where the big-shot PGA players swung their clubs and wowed the crowds. But more on that later.
The forecast was supposed to be immaculate. Sunshine, birds tweeting, and maybe even the distant sound of a saxophone from the Windy City’s streets Instead, we got rain. And not the light, drizzly kind—the apocalyptic, Noah’s Ark kind. And guess what? Most of us, in our optimistic trust in weather predictions, had forgotten our rain suits. So much for being businessmen who are always prepared for eventualities!
Now, about this course. Oh boy, where to start? First, the sand traps—they were practically little sandy artworks littering the green, challenging even the best of us with their siren calls of “Come, play in the sand!” Just last year, two top-notch architects redesigned the course and added lots of cool, great-looking, and difficult sand traps. Unfortunately, I spent too much time in “the beach” as our caddie called it.
Next, the range. It was like the Disneyland of driving ranges. Sprawling, manicured, and just begging for golf balls to fly through its vast expanse It made you wonder: is this why PGA champs like it here, or do they just come for the Chicago-style hot dogs?
Now, onto our little band of merry golfers. Our foursome was the kind that Hollywood movies are made of. We had Mr. Almost-Pro with a handicap of 1, the slightly-less-pro-but-still-pretty-darn-good 3, the ‘I-play-enough-to-hold-my-own’ 9, and of course, our 4th, the ‘Wait-which-way-do-I-hold-the-club?’ 18, who played a lot better than an 18. We were a great team, great bonding, which is the beauty of golf—four guys meeting each other for the 1st time who are now friends for life. We exchanged our contact info and I am now excited to play with my new friends at their courses in LA, Puerto Rico, and San Antonio!
Ah, the unsung heroes of our golf adventure: the caddies! Each one seemed to know the course like the back of their hand, and they eagerly shared tips and tricks with us on how to tackle those devious sand traps and sweeping greens. As for the fairway, it was so saturated with rain, it felt like we were walking on a giant wet sponge. The water simply had nowhere to drain! It made for some rather squishy rounds, with our shoes making comic “squelching” sounds with every step.
Against all odds (and thanks to some missed putts that stopped on the edge but also some crazy-good putts and great rescue shots, WE WON! With our victory, we are now splitting a grand prize of $1,000.
Two days of golf, countless balls ending up in the sand, and many driver shots emerging into the lakes—an unexpected shower from Mother Nature, its memories to last a lifetime. All in the great city of Chicago. And while the final day got rained out, our spirits certainly didn’t. And we can’t wait for our never-golf tourney to reunite with our buddies from around the world.
In the end, there’s one thing I learned from this trip: always pack a rainsuit. And maybe take a few sand lessons.