One year ago Friday (Nov. 6) I received a phone call asking if we’d be “interested in throwing some things in a crate” and move overseas. Total shock would be the best way to describe my response. I pushed away from my desk, thoughts spinning, until I could catch my breath. When I did I rolled forward to my keyboard, opened a Web browser, pulled up Google and entered what any other clear-thinking, priority driven human being would surely have searched: GOLF COURSES NEAR REIGATE ENGLAND.
BOOM! Like stars lighting up the night sky dozens of little red balloons populated my Google map. One year to the day later I teed it up at the Reigate and Redhill Golf Course. A private course on public land. Not sure what that means other than you have to watch for the pedestrians roaming around the course like strolling through a park. And in the UK where there are pedestrians roaming there are dogs roaming. Where there are dogs, there is dog poop. At least the course rules allow for it as noted on the back of the scorecard:
“FREE DROP: If animal droppings (with the exception of rabbits), interfere with a player’s stance or playing of the shot anywhere on the Course, the ball may be lifted, cleaned and dropped within one club-length, not nearer the hole, without penalty.”
Unfortunately, there were no course exceptions for six balls I hit among the ever-pervasive, golf-ball consuming gorse bushes prominent here in Western Europe.