4 for 40: My (Five) Hundred Hole Hike Plan for 2013

3/05/2013 1 comments

There are few things crazier than a man who is about to turn 40. Everyone seems to react to it a bit differently. One friend decided to get into "the best shape of his life," a fairly common reaction. I turn 40 this October, and had the misguided notion that I needed to dunk a basketball for the first time in my life, a plan that quite literally has not gotten very high off the ground. Is there something psychologically significant about approaching 40? Something that tells us that our best days are behind us?

Years ago, some enterprising 39-year old golf addict figured out that the 40th birthday is an iron-clad excuse to take a killer golf trip. Like most middle-aged men with young families, any golf trip requires a careful juggling act between spousal support and parental responsibilities. In my house, this usually starts by "floating the concept", which can be something as non-threatening as "Jeff's talking about going to Ireland again" or even more direct like "I got invited to play in this tournament". It's not as much about gaining spousal approval as it is about gauging the initial reaction -- determining whether it's something you want to pursue further. I have concept floating down to a science, though my success rate is driven largely by having an all-world wife (and the fact that I wait until she's half asleep to bring it up...yes, flights have been booked and tee times made based on groggy, incoherent grunts).

For whatever reason, that 40-year old golf trip is a different animal. Whereas most buddy trips require "cashing in some chips", generally wives are completely on-board with the special 40-year old trip. Some even do all the planning! A friend last year left us all speechless and completely envious when he was heading straight from our weekend at Ballyneal to San Francisco for a round that his wife set-up for him at Cypress Point! Other friends have set-up similar once-in-a-lifetime trips to Monterey, Australia, Ireland and Bandon.

With that as a backdrop, my beautiful wife Sue repeatedly asked me, "what do you want to do for your 40th birthday?" Immediately, I gravitated to some of those same popular golf destinations mentioned above. But eventually, my heart and head brought me back to Hundred Hole Hike and wanting to do something to raise awareness for the event in general and hopefully a lot of money for a worthwhile cause. Eventually, I had one of the single greatest moments of enlightenment in my 39 years and 4 months of existence: why not do both?

Today, I'm thrilled and slightly terrified to present the following...

St. Andrews.
Cabot Links.

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3/02/2013 0 comments

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