Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Good People of Conover

SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG. I’m just not into the Ryder Cup. Not yet. I’m sure I will be when it starts on Friday.

One big reason is because I’m in Conover, North Carolina, for the next two days for events related to the Ensure Classic at Rock Barn, this week’s Champions Tour stop. I’ve come here each of the last three years, renewing acquaintances with some old old pros and usually meeting a few more of the younger ones. Many of them are approachable and friendly. Fred Funk and Phil Blackmar come to mind.

And the people here in Conover (and the greater Hickory area)—the volunteers, tour officials and golf club staff—are terrific. There may be a rude person among them, but I have yet to meet him or her. Instead, it’s something like, “Hi, I met you last year. Let me know if there’s anything you need.” That’s nice to hear.

It feels good to this armchair golfer to escape the home office and drive down the mountain into North Carolina where it’s sunny and 10 degrees warmer. The leaves are turning and the muggy days of August are long gone. Friends are preparing for their apple-butter making weekends. Autumn, as you might have guessed, is my favorite season.

Tomorrow will be fun. I’ll catch up with a dozen or so legends. I expect to see Doug Ford and congratulate him on being a World Golf Hall of Fame inductee. The Ryder Cup and Friday seem far away at the moment.

−The Armchair Golfer