leanly On Sunday, Addison and I played in the final match of our club championship. At 5:25 the evening before, I received this email from him:
Headed to the course if you’re interested in a quick nine right now. Will wait til 5:40 for a response. Or just be there by 5:40.
He sent the email from his phone, in his driveway, but I beat him to the course, and we teed off at 5:38, for a practice round. On the fourth hole, we saw a red-tailed hawk fussing with something on the ground—maybe a chipmunk. When we got close, the hawk moved to a tree and turned its back to us:
Except for the hawk and whatever it was eating, the course was empty, and we played half of a Two-Hour Eighteen™ in 55 minutes. Then we went to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Popey’s—which is pronounced “Poppy’s.” (Don’t bother searching for it on Google, unless you’re interested in Popeye.) One topic of discussion: how easy it would be, with a little red, blue, black, and white paint, to make the name on the sign look the way it’s pronounced. Also, we got ice cream.
Our club championship final is 27 holes. The next morning, Addison and I teed off at 8:00, and played the first 18 holes in two hours and fifteen minutes. It was too early to start the final nine—the Sunday Morning Group was still playing, among other reasons—so, to kill time, we went to lunch at our second favorite restaurant, the Hidden Valley Eatery, with Tony, who was caddying for me. (One of our club’s best traditions is members caddying for members. In last year’s final, Gary, our superintendent, caddied for Ray, who won.)
Hidden Valley wasn’t serving lunch yet—too early—so all three of us ordered breakfast pizzas, a house specialty. Bacon, cheese, tomatoes, something, something, and two fried eggs. Then, back to the course for the final nine, with the usual gallery:
Congrats on the win! First time?
First, yes. Last, undoubtedly. My window of opportunity opened a crack, and I squeezed through. And I like your website!
Congrats on the win! Now you have the defense of your title to look forward to next season.
Well done David, I am not sure I could play with a belly full of breakfast.
David, I still want you to come to Sweden to play golf. Have you ever been here? Next trip to Europe with your friends? I promise, you want regret it. I’ll organize the hole trip.
At this very moment, I’m in Norway, on a non-golf assignment for The New Yorker. No golf clubs, though, alas. But my wife and I are coming to Sweden next year, and I may be able to sneak in a round or two then.
I am located in Stockholm. Bro Hof Slott would be a natural pick, I suppose. But there are some more hidden gems out here. Skåne (south of Sweden) has a lot of fantastic golf courses. We should keep in touch, when you are coming over.