Another fun trip south for golf with friends

Well, well, well.

It's hard to come back to work after you've spent a handful of days in a warmer part of this country, playing the great game of golf with 19 other players who are all there for one common cause: to have fun and play as good a game of golf as you can.

That said, fun was more prominent than great scoring for myself and a few others that I could name, but I won't.

I will also say, after two days of cat courses, I was ready for a dog course. We played four cat courses at the Ocean Ridge Plantation, a few miles up the road in North Carolina from our spot in North Myrtle Beach.

The trip actually started very early last Wednesday with long-time friend John Harris riding along with me. The 5 a.m. start made it possible to reach our 2 p.m. tee time at Diamondback Golf Club on Route 9 in Loris, S.C.

Not surprising, it was pretty sloppy and cart path only due to heavy rain that hit the area a couple days earlier. For $25 and a free sandwich, who couldn't enjoy it. And we actually were sent to the 10th tee to get off early.

As fate might have it, we finish nine holes and head for hole one, to find a solo golfer waiting on the tee. He groups up with us and he's a Maryland resident.

Many of our others from our 20-man group also left in time to get in a round at Brierwood Golf Club in New Brunswick, N.C. Among those from Havre de Grace or with HdG connections were Steve Kampe, Andy Kampe, Ray Orf, Dave Glenn, Charlie Hoppers, Bill Wloczewski, John Walters, Chris Walters and Steve Gamatoria.

We also had a few who opted for a plane ride, instead of a drive. Frank Worthington, Joel Gartside and Mark Cordero (Delaware) chose the short flight from Philadelphia to Wilmington, N.C., and made it in time to play.

Two more golfers, Bill House and Mike Kaufmann, work associates and friends of Wloczewski, opted for a flight as well, but from a Washington, D.C., airport instead.

And, last but not least, our group includes four gentlemen from northern Ohio: Joe Cordero, Paul Johnson, Jim Roach and newcomer Jake Zycazis.

As I said, we played four cat courses and I think all I got was cat scratch fever. It was painful. Tiger's Eye tested us on Friday and Leopard's Chase just wore most of us out on Saturday. Panther's Run was a bit more tame Sunday, before colder temperatures Monday morning led to a nice finishing round on Lion's Paw.

Before the cat courses meowed us to death, we played our Thursday round at Myrtlewood's Pinehills course. There, we saw a group from Bel Air, but I did not recognize anyone. Also heard there were golfers from Aberdeen in the area, but never came across them.

The weather was fabulous, with temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s at least three of the days. Shorts and golf shirts were the attire. Oh how nice.

Because of the warmer temps, we did see our share of alligators, both in the water and on dry land. Don't bother them and they pretty much won't bother you.

There was one snake, reported to be a copperhead, and I also heard noise about fire ants. Both are problematic.

Bottom line is this: It was great to get away and play all the rounds scheduled with friends from near and far. A special thanks has to go out to Steve Kampe, for organizing the trip again this year. A great job.

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