Played a nice quick round at Ed Oliver Golf Course, in Wilmington, Delaware this morning. My first municipal course of the trip, Ed Oliver serves wonderfully as an urban course for the fine citizens of Wilmington. The land was originally the site of the Wilmington Country Club, but at some unknown (I’m sure it’s known, just not to me) point in the past, the land was acquired by the city (maybe the county or even the state (it is Delaware, and Delaware is small)) and the course was largely redesigned. The only remaining element from the original course is their famous chimney, which acts as the template for their logo. It was my luck that a course worker was puttering along as I was moving my way up the 18th, and I was able to pose with the chimney for a quick pic. As lucky as I was for the securing of the photo, I’m that unlucky now that I’m having problems uploading it. Maybe it will post by the time I’m done writing, maybe it won’t. If it does not, I will update the post later with a copy of the picture. It’s pretty cool.
Anyhow, EOGC is kinda unique in that it is a par 69, yet still measures over 6100 yards from the furthest back, green, tees. It’s very rare that you find a course with a par under 70 but still over 6000 yards in length. There is only 1 par 5, but several par 4’s over 400 yards, including the 3rd and 4th, each of which are just about 450 yards long. I made it through the first 4 with 2 pars and 2 bogeys, and proceeded to have by far my worst hole of the trip on 5. I made a 7 on a par 3. There was at time when I would be scrambling insanely right now in search of a new set of clubs. 7’s are never acceptable. They are particularly heinous on a par 3 though. I was able to pull my self together though, and ended up shooting an 83. It was another very quick round, which is precise reason you’re all getting an entry right here, right now. I’m about an hour out from DC right now and have a 3:40 tee time, so I have time to kill, and I’m doing a mighty job slaying it.
For being a Friday morning, the course had a moderate amount of play, but, as usual, everyone was more than willing to let a single on a cart play through. The staff was very friendly, and the cart cleaning fella gave me a nice 10 minute tour of the course and hints on how to approach certain holes. Haven’t gotten that type of service at too many other courses, and it was refreshing to have that experience at a municipal course. I ran into my second “grab some balls and put the money here” stand of the trip (the other in Rhode Island), as the 7th and 8th holes run alongside the back yards of some homes. I donated one to the cause on the 7th, my only lost ball of the day, and felt entitled to a freebie from the bin. Upstanding gent that I am, I did not take any.
Pretty carefree and quick morning. The next few days, In DC, MD and WV, I will be playing with various buddies from college and former jobs. It’s going to be great to get back in a familiar situation, and to catch up with some friends. After West Virginia, it’s off to foreign lands. I have done a small bit of traveling in the south, but nothing substantial. I learned just minutes ago that I can pronounce Missouri correctly, and I’m banking on that to help me when I’m in the Western portions of the deep south.
I learned this fact, incidentally, from one of the survey girls at this McDonald’s I’m at in Handover, Maryland. Apparently, there is a new “Jalapeno Kicker” variety of sandwich which you can get in either burger or chicken form, and it’s being piloted here. They have to get 30 folks to munch one of these down and give their thoughts on a survey. Incredibly, even with a $10 gift card as a reward, not everyone is willing to complete the survey, and only 5 surveys have been completed thus far. Unbelievable! I tried to help them out by filling out a survey (Think “hmmmm…. this Hugh Jass fellow thinks we ought to reverse the Jalapeno to meat ratio”) even though I didn’t have the sandwich, but they thought better of it.
The reason I bring all this up is because one of the girls has done extensive traveling, and is now working to make money to head back to Turkey. Fascinating. I’m going to guess she’s about my age, maybe minus a year or two, and has traveled to Honduras, New Zealand, India and Turkey (and probably some other places too). What is most interesting though is that she’s planning on going back to work in Turkey. I know a few people who have up and left the states for work abroad, one of them going to Turkey, a few others going to China.
I was hoping to inspire some sort of big overarching wanderlust not only in you all, but also in myself. I love traveling and want to continue to do as much of it as possible. I’m not sure I could go live in another country. I need baseball. I need my cars and our open roads, and I need readily available and affordable golf! Beyond that though, I just kinda like it here, in the states. This place ain’t perfect. Far from it. But it’s familiar, and that is very valuable, for me.
Part of me wishes I had the cojones to go live and work somewhere else. Another part of me points and laughs at that part and says “you mongoloid – you don’t have any skills any other part of the world would want!” So whether it’s a lack of desire or a lack of ability, I think I’m staying in the states, where I will remain in awe of those who’ve chosen to go live elsewhere. It’s a huge world, but I’m continuing to learn that until we colonize the moon, Mars, or the sun, it’s actually a tiny, tiny place. You can be anything you want to be, anywhere you want to be. You gotta just go do it.
Maybe I will go somewhere else to live and work. Maybe I’ll go to Canada. Does that count?
Ponder on that. For now, I’m off to Washington, D.C., the Caprica of the United States Universe. Word on the street is that East Potomac GC has breathtaking views of the monuments. As one Bart Scott once said, “CAN’T WAIT!”