So I had mentioned earlier that it was only fair that if I got to run a marathon while on vacation, my other half would get to play a round of golf. We originally were going to plan a trek to Scotland so that he could play St. Andrews, but unless he had a threesome or a foursome of golfers, there was no guarantee that he would get to tee off. So he decided on the next best thing, playing Royal St. Georges. This particular course has hosted what some consider to be the most popular professional golf tournament, The Open Championships (AKA The British Open).
We took a two-hour train ride from London to the medieval coastal town of Sandwich, Kent. We stayed at the quaint Bell Hotel (totally recommend!). Upon arrival around 10:00am we checked our bags and called for a taxi. The mister wasn’t scheduled to tee off until 1:00pm but he was so giddy with excitement we headed to the course a bit early. He hit a bucket of balls at the driving range,
practiced his short game on the putting green, and then accompanied me to the snack bar after I repeatedly begged for some food, being in my post-marathon ravenous state. All he ordered was a diet Coke – I recon he was full of a bit of nervous energy as this is a guy who never turns down any sort of caloric intake!
Prior to entering the snack bar, I expected it to be items you would find in a US clubhouse: hot dogs, potato chips, basically things I had no interest in eating. But oh no, this snack bar was a full restaurant, white tablecloths and all! I ordered a roasted vegetable soup, which I’m certain the ingredients were grown on the neighboring farms surrounding the course. Talk about high-class! And may have also had 3 rolls from the bread basket.
I loved everything about the clubhouse – well the parts I saw. There are some strict regulations and only club members are permitted to roam specific areas of the clubhouse, but everything that I saw had an old world feel to it, lots of vintage photos, paintings and antique golf clubs decorated the place. I felt like a weirdo so I didn’t take any pictures inside.
After getting some lunch, it was time to tee off. We were instructed to head out to hole 10 and it was quite the walk. I seriously felt like I was back out on the marathon course with all the hills and valleys on the course. There were no trees and tons of bunkers, Matt kept saying how this course was nothing like he had ever seen before. The soil was quite sandy, so the greens weren’t manicured in the style that we are accustomed to in the states.
It seemed like there was at least one bunker on every hole, and some of these suckers were at least 10 feet deep! The day was overcast, windy and chilly from the start. Eventually by the time he rounded the 18th hole, the clouds started to open up and rain a little bit.
At this point the mister still had to play the first 9 holes and I was frozen and my legs only kept getting more sore with every step I took, so he gave me the blessing to head back to the hotel. I honestly think that while he enjoyed my company on back nine of the course, he wanted to spend some time alone playing the front nine. So I hailed a taxi to our home away from home and spent the remainder of the afternoon warming up with some coffee and kicking my legs up anxiously awaiting my other half’s return from the links.
A few hours passed and he came back full of great stories detailing how he did on each hole. He felt pretty great as he shot a 75 on this par 70 course – and he played from the championship tees!!!! I was so happy that he was able to have such a positive experience on a historic course that I agreed to celebrate by watching him eat fish and chips while he simultaneously threw back some pints of local suds at a nearby pub. We spent the night relaxing and dining while he gave me the play-by-play on each hole – using golf slang that I’m completely oblivious to, but I just smiled and nodded and let him have his day in the sun.
I have said it many a times, I’m so happy that I married a guy who is passionate about his sport, a sport other than running. And if I had to pinpoint an experience from our trip abroad that was my absolute favorite, it would have to be our trek to Sandwich, and getting to witness the sheer joy that this quest brought to my husband. Now that’s love.