Golf Shows, Seeing Friends, And Co-Pays
It was mid-February, so the BW and I headed off to Myrtle Beach on our annual pilgrimage to the Carolinas PGA Section Merchandise Show.
If you’re into golf, you’ve got to love golf shows. For us, this massing of what’s new in the game for the upcoming season is one of the highlights of the year.
For one thing, it gets our golf juices flowing again. It means that winter is almost over and the pear trees and azaleas and dogwoods will soon be blooming again.
It means that if there’s anything new in the way of golf equipment, we’re going to get an up-close look at it. And it means running into a lot of the friends we’ve made during a lifetime of playing golf and covering tournaments and functions involved with the game.
The CPGA Golf Show, held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, is kind of like an old-fashioned tent revival. After all, golf is a religion to most of us, and it seems only right that we should gather to pay homage to the game.
The golf show is a tent revival, a circus, a county fair and a family reunion all wrapped into one. It’s not only about showing off the new merchandise, it’s about mingling, about seeing old friends, renewing old acquaintances and making new friends.
The convention center is packed wall to wall with kiosks featuring everything from the latest putter designs to golf management programs at places such as Methodist College in Fayetteville and Campbell University in Buies Creek.
If it’s about golf, you’ll find it along one of the many aisles. Prowling those aisles is akin to wandering the midways at a fair. Minus the fortune-tellers and weight-guessers and chances to win a doll by knocking down a few targets.
The BW and I have a ritual at the golf show. We start at the first aisle and work our way through the entire exhibit, pausing only to say hello to the friends we meet. This acquaints us with what’s being shown and allows us to learn if there is something in particular that piques our interest.
Once we’ve reconnoitered the place, we take another tour, this time stopping at the booths that we’ve singled out for further investigation.
I, of course, am more intrigued with the golf equipment exhibits. Let me wander from TaylorMade to Powerbilt to Ping to Callaway to Titleist to Maxfli to Wilson to MacGregor to Mizuno to Cobra to Nike to Bridgestone to Cleveland and I’m a happy camper.
The BW, on the other hand, likes to check out the fashion shops. Oh, yeah. There are little boutiques scattered everywhere along the aisles. These booths feature what’s new in golf-related clothing. The BW gets all atwitter when she sees the skirts and shorts and blouses in their bright spring colors. Heaven for a female golfer can be a birdie, but it can also be a new skirt that she knows will be the talk of the next Ladies Day at the club.
Of course, the problem these days isn’t equipment or attire or accessories; it’s having to work my golf outings around doctor’s appointments.
I’m serious. I’ve played three rounds of golf since November and I’ve had at least 12 appointments with doctors of various kinds.
Here’s how it works these days: I visit my primary physician with a shoulder problem. He refers me to an orthopedist, who has me X-rayed and sends me for an MRI, then refers me to physical therapy and to an arthritis specialist, who refers me to a neurologist.
The neurologist sends me in for a CAT scan and bloodwork that requires 15 vials to be drawn. Then I visit my primary physician again and he has to draw three more vials.
Then it’s back to the neurologist, who tells me a lot of stuff I really didn’t want to hear. And now I’ve got appointments coming up with my dentist and optometrist, a revisit to my primary physician and follow-up appointments with the orthopedist, the neurologist and the arthritis specialist.
I used to tell people who asked why I was still working that it was to pay my golf cart fees
Now I tell them it’s to make my co-pays.
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