Wales & SW England: Golf’s Road Less Travelled (Part 2)
Don’t know how you feel about it but when my buddies and I travel to the U.K. to play golf, we never schedule an inland course. There are many wonderful parkland and heathland courses there, to be sure, but we’ve got something on the order of 18,000 of those at home in the U.S. and a majority of those are accessible and outstanding. What is very rare here, however, are true golf links. So this is our U.K. mission statement, if you will: we’re only playing links golf.
Our trip started out with a few hiccups. The overnight flight from the U.S. to England was flawless and there were no problems in either airport with waiting or security. But our luck ran out during the car rental process. After finishing the paperwork, the agent sent us to the car park to get our minivan. There were several identical models side by side and we managed to grab the wrong one (the keys are already in them). It would have been nice to discover that before packing the vehicle. It also would have been nice to know before we sat through the security line at the rental car property exit. The ensuing return/un-pack/get-different-vehicle/re-pack/security-check threw our schedule out of whack. The accident and resulting traffic jam we encountered on the M-4 out of London en route to Wales didn’t help either. When we planned the trip, we allowed for what we believed was plenty of extra time in case something happened. But the sum of all the delays meant we got to our first golf course about 5 minutes after our 3:30pm tee time at Pyle & Kenfig, which is just a few minutes west of Porthcawl.
Fortunately for us, we were expected so the pro shop was still open. And fortunately for us, there was no one on the tee or waiting for a later tee time. Unfortunately for us, that was probably because it was cold and raining. After an 8 hour overnight flight, the mix up with the car rental, the seemingly interminable ride/sit/ride from London to Porthcawl, it was cold and raining. Damn. Rough start.
Well, you know what we did. We surely didn’t make this trip just to wuss out at the last minute in the face of a little adversity. NO! So, after apologizing profusely to the wonderfully patient golf professional, we threw on our waterproof golf gear and bucket hats in the parking lot and jumped on the first tee without so much as a single practice putt.
Oh, did I mention Lucky Lew started this trip with a recently injured back?
Next up: The links courses of southern Wales
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