The OHL Classic

16 of November

So are any of you guys golf fans? Since Thursday, I’ve been working at the PGA Tour in Maya Koba, Playa’s nicest golf course. Our church has been involved with the tour for years now because our church is English, so the tour is assured they will be provided with English-speaking patrons. Our volunteer work pays off though- $5,000 goes to the Riviera Maya Fellowship Church to fund the Mayan service.

Christy drove me to and from the event every day. Kira and I went together on the first day; Mum, Kira, and I on the second day; and only I trooped it until Saturday, today. I was assigned to the “spotter” job, which basically means that I follow a group through the eighteen hole course, record their scores, and answer and report to any questions I hear on the radio from our leader, Rob. I have in-the-ropes access, a T.V. pass, a clipboard, a walkie with a headset, and to top it all off, a white cap.We are with Golf TV or something, I’m not quite sure! I hate to sound ignorant, but I’m being honest, I don’t know what channel I’m working for. Golf airs from noon until four or five, depending on rain delays, so we had to arrive at the eleventh green around ten every day. We were assigned our groups and released to the fairways.

Friday was the most difficult day: what with the rain, the long, grueling hours of walking and standing under the hot sun, and the buffet being closed down. Oh yes, I have to tell you about the buffet. The selection was incredible: palm heart, olive, and cactus salad; Gouda pasta salad; grilled eggplant, onion, and peppers; sautéed fish and greens; baked fish; grilled steaks; barbecued steaks; rice with peas and corn; rum cakes; jicama and pear cups; Neapolitan pudding; banana bread with icing; cheesecake bites; and it was positively the most food I’ve ever seen in one place. The bar was crowded with VIPs, and the tables were occupied by the golfers and their wives. I suppose our T.V. passes must’ve fooled the officials monitoring the door and let us in.

Outstanding Events of Day One: Hopped into the back of a player-only emergency van to escape hazardous weather on the green and hung out with them.

Outstanding Event of Day Two: Bunked in a Heineken tent in an effort to “seek shelter” because of continually bad weather conditions. Met a nice guy, a lady and her husband, and got offered a beer by almost everyone.

Outstanding Events of Day Three: Hung out with caddies and professional golf players, recommended places they should visit around Playa, and told them about myself. (One caddy offered me a water bottle and asked me if I moved to Playa for work. I sheepishly replied that I moved with my family. When I told Christy about that driving home, she laughed and imitating me, said, Well sir, I’m not old enough to make my own decisions yet! in response to the man’s comment. She’s a hoot.)

I learned the game of golf from the pros, which is a pretty cool thing. I’ve never had any interest in what I presumed to be a lame sport corrupted by snobbery and nice shoes until the tournament at Maya Koba, where I learned it’s a pretty classy sport corrupted by some snobbery and nice shoes. In case you have heard of any of these guys, here’s a list of the groups I spotted for (from memory- it’s not totally accurate.)

– J.J. Henry

-Camilo Villegas

-Jose Coceres

-Daniel Summerhays

-Harris English

-Brian Stuard

-Morgan Hoffman

-John Huh

-Jamie Lovemark

-Charley Hoffman

I also learned firsthand that some golfers aren’t too nice to their caddies. Mum ended up stuck in a tent with a caddy who gave her the whole scoop on a dude who is a real butthead. The man Mum chatted with was the second longest caddy the golfer had ever had, topping off at just over a year, in his fourteen years in the PGA. Go figure.

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