Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Sport of the Retired

     I've been surprised at how little we hear about the game of golf in the retirement blogosphere. When people retire, they're supposed to play golf, aren't they?

     I admit that I am one retired person who does play golf. I'm not at all obsessive about it, like some people are, but I like the excuse to spend four or five hours walking around outside in the fresh air, hanging out with my buddies, and occasionally enjoying a pint of beer afterwards. Besides, it's easier on your joints than . . .  oh, say, pickleball, which murdered my knee about a month ago.

The clubhouse. Pretty nice!

     Besides, a golf course is usually pretty lush and well-manicured. When you walk up to the clubhouse, it makes you feel like you're richer than you really are.

Uh, oh. My first shot went into the woods.

     I've been snowbirding for six weeks -- we're going home in a few days -- and I've played golf three times. Once with a friend who winters in Fort Myers, FL; once with a friend who has a place in Myrtle Beach, SC. And then yesterday I went out on my own to a course outside of Charleston. B dropped me off, then she went to enjoy some one-on-one time with her son.

The 5th hole bordered a horse pasture.

     I played four or five holes by myself, then joined up with another guy who was also playing by himself. Another benefit of golf: it's an opportunity to meet new people.

Look closely -- there's my ball on the green!

     His name was also Tom. I'd put him in his early-to-mid 70s. He had moved to Charleston from Chicago some 26 years ago. "Best decision I ever made," he told me.

Site of Revolutionary War redoubt.

     The course we were playing was built in the 1990s and incorporated several historical sites into its landscape. In the clubhouse I saw a glass case full of local artifacts, presumably among those dug up and preserved when they put in the course. There were some iron spikes from the old Charleson-to-Savannah railroad, along with a display of Revolutionary War and Civil War memorabilia and a few artifacts from ancient Native Americans. The Battle of Stono Ferry took place here on June 20, 1779. The British suffered 149 casualties and the Americans 153, including the death of Hugh Jackson, President Andrew Jackson's older brother.

A section of the old Charleston-to-Savannah railroad.

     The course was surrounded by a housing development. Tom told me you can get a townhouse in the $200,000 range, but some of the waterfront homes go for over $1 million.

These are the $1 million homes overlooking the Stono River.

     "Do you live here?" I asked. "No," he said. "I work here."

In trouble again!

     He mans the golf shop five hours a week. He doesn't get paid. Instead, he's allowed to play as much golf as he wants for free, except for Saturday and Sunday mornings. He takes part in two golf leagues at the club, and he told me he plays over a hundred rounds per year. So . . . there's someone who is obsessed with golf!

Site of an old ferry crossing on the river, part of the Intracoastal Waterway.

      The course was not crowded, so we finished up a little early. I was happy with my game. I didn't score that well; but I was hitting the ball, which is all I wanted as I was just shaking off the winter cobwebs in preparation for playing in my own golf league up north. We start playing in mid-April.

Eye candy.

     I went out to the parking lot to wait for B to come back and pick me up, and saw this parked in front of the clubhouse. It's sure not mine, but . . . I told you playing golf makes you feel kind of rich!


19 comments:

DJan said...

Sounds like it was a very nice day, with time in the outdoors, meeting a new friend, and a good blog post! I like your pictures, too. :-)

Rian said...

Beautiful weather! Beautiful pics! You may not be *rich*, but I'd say you were doing OK...

rolekkyle said...

Well written article
Kyle Rolek CFP®

Tabor said...

My SIL is addicted to golf and I am guessing in a decade or so he will retire south.

priscilla said...

I've always said, I'm not rich in money, but rich in spirit!! Looks like a fun trip.

Linda Myers said...

Next winter, consider coming to our part in Tucson. I'd love to meet you and you'd be as busy as you like. Including golf AND pickleball!

Celia said...

Wonderful post. What an interesting golf course. So much history. Someone had some insight and imagination. I tried golfing but it just didn't stick. It was the long walks outside that attracted me. Enjoy.

Stephen Hayes said...

I don't play golf but I'd love to spend time in that red beauty.

Jane said...

Fun to read about your time in the Holy City. Have you narrowed down a list of retirement places?

Tom Sightings said...

Priscilla, just like me! Linda, I was in Tucson once and liked it, so I'd love to get back. Celia, well, you know what they say about golf: it's a long walk spoiled.

retirementreflections said...

My first thought was 'how many bloggers golf/or golfers blog'? Glad to hear that you do both. Great post!

retirementallychallenged.com said...

Neither my husband nor I golf. Sometimes, though, I wish he did (like you, just now and then) so I could have some more me time at home. 😀 That course looks interesting - lots of things to look at while you wait for your next turn.

still the lucky few said...

Lots of obsessive golfers here, in beautiful Victoria, Canada! But this year has been different—we've had snow! This has royally ticked the golfers off! ...and everyone else, by the way.

Dick Klade said...

When I retired some 22 years ago, I hit the golf course five or six times a week--that would put me in the "obsessed" category for sure. Although we now live next to the 18th green on a very nice course, I no longer play. A lower back problem made it too painful. However, I have grand memories of participating in a truly grand old game.

gigihawaii said...

David and I donated our golf clubs to Goodwill in 2014 and truly don't miss them. We weren't good golfers, anyway.

Denise said...

My husband used to be a golf nut but now he has taken up pickleball and rarely plays golf. It's certainly cheaper.

LCF Planning the Dream said...

I am definitely sharing this article w/ spouse-avid golfer! I play but am more successful at life balancing. This area of Charleston is one of our targets for retirement. Currently, my spouse is looking at 2 yrs from September (he will be 60).

Barbara said...

I think golf courses are so pretty and can completely understand what it is you like about golf. I think I would really enjoy a day out golfing but I have to hand to eye coordination. I should just spend the day driving around in a golf cart admiring the view.

rolekkyle said...

Great post
Kyle Rolek CFP®