Snoring Golfers

Marpac Sound Screen

Nighttime noise is an issue when you travel with grown men.  On a ski trip when my kids were in high school, I shared a room with two other fiftyish dads and spent much of the night trying to decide which was more annoying, the chainsaw-like snoring or the innumerable brief trips to the bathroom. When my friends and I travel for golf, we try to pair the snorers and coughers with the heaviest sleepers, and make sure that the guy with the anti-apnea machine shares a room with someone who likes white noise. I myself employ two snoring-related sleep aids: gumdrop-size silicone ear plugs and a vaguely wishbone-shaped appliance called a Nozovent, which sprongs my nostrils wide open.  (One night, while my wife and I were getting ready for bed at home, I groggily inserted my earplugs into my nose instead of my ears—as the first one went in, I thought, Whoa, time to buy some fresh ones—then realized what I had done and laughed so hard I nearly suffocated.) On a golf trip to Pinehurst in 2006, I shared a room with two friends. One was a world-class snorer, but the noise he made, though extraordinarily loud, was so steady that it was easy to sleep through. What woke me was a fart (same guy)—like exploding a paper bag. My entire body rose about six inches from my mattress, and it took me a while to get back to sleep. At the bottom of this post is a picture from that trip.

After the death of my father, whose snoring was audible throughout our house, my mother gave me his old white-noise machine, a Marpac Sound Screen. My wife and I keep it in the kitchen—for our dog, Henry, who barks in the middle of the night if he hears raccoons knocking over the cat-food dishes on our back step. Half a dozen friends and I are taking a golf trip to Ireland in April. We’ve all decided to splurge on single rooms, but if we hadn’t I’d take the Marpac with me.

Pinehurst golf trip 2006–with Fairbairn’s greeting for new arrivals.