Golf – A Challenge Worth Taking

I have been on vacation in South Carolina this week.  The weather has been absolutely perfect and I love just relaxing on the beach.  My husband and son always golf, which is fine with me because then I don’t have to worry about them complaining about being bored on the beach.  This year, however, I felt like I wanted to give golf a try because I had a little FOMO (fear of missing out) going on.

My husband and son were taking a lesson so I asked my husband to sign me up too.  Why not??  As the day of the lesson came closer, I wanted to cancel it.  I thought my time would be better spent on the beach. Cancellation fees would probably apply so I bit the bullet and went to the lesson.  I am really glad that I did.  My instructor Ali was awesome; she was very supportive, down-to-Earth, and easy going.  She gave me a lot of great tips and I felt really good about myself when I left the lesson.  The Steve Dresser Golf Academy is one of the best in the Myrtle Beach area.  My husband and son also learned a lot in their advanced lessons and club fittings.

At home, I had been to the driving range a total of ONE time before my lesson.  I had taken other lessons years and years ago.  The thought of actually playing a round of golf scared me.  I didn’t think I had enough skill to get out there.  Well, I decided that there was no time like the present to give it a try.  I am in one of the most popular golf locations in the US and there are golfers of all levels getting out there every day.

 

There is a par 3 course, Tupelo Bay, which is not far from the condo we are staying in.  My husband said it was only 9 holes and I wouldn’t need to hit it very far, being that it was a par 3.  Again, I figured we’re here in one of the largest golf meccas so no time like the present to give it a try.  Since the par 3 was just “mini golf on steroids”, we decided to do the executive course, which was a par 3 and 4 course.  Nerves set in as we pulled up to the first hole, but when I saw others who hit the ball like me, I felt a lot better.  I didn’t do great, but I hit the ball and I have my first round 9 holes under my belt.  I, again, felt pretty good about myself walking off that course.

Golf is on the television all the time at my house.  I have been to PGA tournaments.  I hear my husband and son say how much you need to practice and how aggravating it can be.  So why do I want to get into this aggravating yet fulfilling hobby?  It is something we can do as a family and I can go out with friends who golf.  When I posted that I was taking a lesson on Facebook, a friend commented that she was in a beginner league at home and why don’t I join?  I told her ABSOLUTELY.  She said it was a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.  I may not improve my game, but fun and laughing are good for the soul.

So next step is getting some gear and just getting out there and doing it.  I am proud of myself because I am taking on a challenge of learning something completely new to me.  I have been writing a lot lately about my yoga journey and mindfulness, and this post may seem out of place.  However, I feel that taking on this challenge and being present in the moment of just concentrating on hitting the ball is just another way to be mindful.  Not letting every day worries and cares get in the way of my present purpose.

What is a challenge that you have taken on that has become a success for you??

Being a Spectator is Hard Work

Labor Day Weekend usually doesn’t = a huge workout weekend.  It’s usually a time of bbqs, last lazy days of summer and relaxation.  However, I did find a way to get some exercise in…I went to a golf tournament.  Wait a minute…golf…exercise…yesssss!!!!  I wasn’t even playing the game, I was a spectator.

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I know that many people may think of golf as a sport that isn’t exactly a workout.  I know that the golfers use carts and they swing the club at a little ball.  Many golfers do have a pretty extensive strength training routine because it does take upper body strength and a strong core to get the distance that they need to do well.

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As for spectators, I will tell you that I got quite a lot of exercise yesterday following my and my son’s favorite golfers around the course.  The grand total of steps (including walking from the car to the shuttle bus, the shuttle bus to the course, around the course and back) was 16,000 steps or roughly 7 miles….whew!!!

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I was so exhausted when I got home, that I think I went to bed at 8:00pm and didn’t wake up until 7:00am.  It didn’t help that my son would say I want to go to hole ___ which was back the way we already walked and I would say why didn’t you say something when we were all the way back there??  Argggg…teenagers!!!!

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I didn’t mind walking the distance to see my favorite, Phil Mickelson.  Unfortunately, he didn’t make the cut, but he is always smiling and he interacts well with his fans.  I know that a lot of people think that golf may be boring, but I love to watch it and discuss it with my son.

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We also got to see a gold medal winning Olympic athlete, who also always has a smile on his face and interacts well with his fans.  To say that golf isn’t a work out is probably voiced by people who don’t watch it or play it. I am glad that my son is involved in this sport because it teaches dedication, patience, hard work and manners.   And if you want to get some exercise, be sure to attend a PGA tournament if they have one near you…my legs are still tired.

What is your favorite spectator sport?

 

My Happy Place ll: Surfside Beach, SC

We always come to Surfside Beach in April (see previous post), but we’ve never come in the summer.  As many of our friends said when we told them we were coming in July…”Why would you go to SC in July…it’s not hot enough at home?”  Well…we came for several reasons.  #1 – We love it here!!!,  #2 – My son can golf for FREE with an adult, #3 – Rentals across the street or on the beach are so much cheaper than driving 1-2 hours from home for a vacation.  The ONLY drawback is the drive…it was 18 hours, but we stayed over night and it really isn’t that bad when you break it up.

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We found our rental through a realty agency and were disappointed with their customer service.  We decided that we were going to come to SSB late so when I checked VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) most rentals in our price range were gone.  If we decide to come again next summer, I will definitely book earlier.  The rental we chose was great…I have no problem with the rental.  It was the service from the rental agency that was not acceptable.  We were directly across from the beach with an ocean view and it cost less than if we drove to a place 2 hours from home which was not even near the beach.  So worth it!!!   IMG_6652

Another perk when coming in the summer is that many of the activities that aren’t available in April are open.  For instance, water parks, water sports (including parasailing and banana boat rides) and there are more  frequently scheduled boat trips.  We took advantage of the dolphin watch out of Crazy Sister Marina in Murrell’s Inlet.  It was a brand new boat with a knowledgeable staff.  It took us a while to find the dolphins, but when we found them…there were quite a few.  The boat ride itself was awesome and be sure to put sunscreen on your face because even though it is cool and breezy out on the water, you are getting a ton of sun.  (Sorry about the bad picture, I’m an awful photographer on a rocking boat:)

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Golf is everywhere down here and my husband and son were in their glory.  Many of the courses are free for 16 and under with a paying adult.  My husband paid $54 for both of them plus a cart which is cheaper than paying for just himself and a cart at home.  I gave him a round of golf at a course that he’s wanted to go to and it was not included in the juniors golf free program…Prestwick Golf Club.  It was still cheaper than most of the courses at home if he had to pay for both of them and a cart.  I used  MyrtleBeachGolf.com to book the tee time.  Very simple and you can sign up to get emails about special deals. IMG_6687

Okay…yes…and you have to eat…right?!  There is no shortage of restaurants and cafes.  It is crazy how many places there are to eat.  Most of them are busy too…if you go to a place at dinner time and it isn’t busy, you should probably rethink going there:)  I have a favorite restaurant in Myrtle Beach and a favorite restaurant in Murrell’s Inlet.  My favorite in MB is Margaritaville.  Yes it is a chain and yes it is one of the millions of products from Jimmy Buffett, but I LOVE it and we have to go every time we are in this area.  The dinner wait was ridiculous, but  if you go for lunch or go early for dinner there is usually no wait or a short wait.  The Cheeseburger in Paradise and Volcano Nachos are yummy.  I am partial to the Margarita Flight.  If you do have to wait, you can take a walk around Broadway at the Beach.

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Lastly, there is Creek Ratz in Murrells Inlet.  It is a fun little place that has live music just about every night.  They have seafood, salads, sandwiches and raw bar.  Their hush puppies are yummy and the view is second to none.  If you like a place with a great atmosphere, this is your kind of place.

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Where is your go-to vacation spot?