I Dream of Putting Greens (as long as there's ice cream)
How the other half watches: Skyboxing it at the Houston Open
If I told you I knew much of anything about golf, such a statement would be patently false. First of all, golf courses have entirely too much silence on tap for me.
I mean, I'm the person you'll find uncouthly stifling guffaws at a funeral. Not 'cause I find death funny, but you know, something's always funny when it's unnervingly quiet. And sure, I can whack little balls with the best of 'em, but you'd better keep the irons out of my hands if you like your eyesight or your gonads.
While this admission may be comforting for some, those of you tuning in for serious golf tournament coverage may be scratching your heads in disbelief right about now. I sympathize. But don't fret, folks. We've got some of that golf-y stuff for you, too. I'm simply not your girl for that.
But who says golf is all about golf, anyway?
Well, at least, I hoped that'd be the case. And that's a premise this intrepid journalist two degrees separated from Tiger Woods set out to prove as true, while traipsing off to take a place among the spectator elites in the Skybox at the Shell Houston Open.
Although the Beltway could've played a less industrial host to our dapper out-of-town guests, there's solace to be found in the distance betwixt the city gridlock and Redstone Golf Club, akin to journeying to a land far, far away. Couple that with the ban on deadly cell phones, and you'll really feel like you've pilgrimaged to Middle Earth. In order to survive this first test of superhumanness, please repeat after me: "It's vintage to be connection-less sometimes. And I love vintage!"
Then breathe deeply. You're going to make it.
On my charmed stroll through the sponsor-heavy Shell Village, on my way to the emerald gates of the Skybox, I felt a light breeze ruffle my hemline. And ruffle. And ruffle. Sure enough, I flirted with the possibility of pulling ye olde Marilyn. To all the skirted ladies, there's suddenly sense behind those polos and khakis as far as the eye can see.
Wearing a dress to this tournament is a surefire way to go from classy to trashy with the impromptu peepshow you'll be giving the genteels. If only for one day, Izod and Lacoste are your go-to fashion gurus.
Narrowly escaping landing myself a wealthy executive based purely on the shape of my buttock region, I finally ascended the stairs to the Mount Olympus of golf. I'd like to own up to being facetious here, but for once, you are strongly advised against reading any sarcasm into my commentary.
At the summit of the climb, I was greeted with an angelic view of rolling, lush green, hugging a serene, sapphiric pond, which perched me and a handful of others directly over the 18th hole. After it was explained to me how optimal this upper tier truly was, the magnitude of my newfound stature really hit me. I was thinking, "This must be exactly what The Dude Upstairs feels like when he gazes down on the face of Brad Pitt. Pure and utter beauty!"
Suffice it to say, as The Dude may tell you in your holy book of choice, it's quite a feeling.
And if aesthetics simply don't snag your hole-in-one, your wish for a heavenly selection of nibbles and libations has already been granted. Typical Tex-Mex fare was complimented by bottomless glasses of gratis grog, not to mention an ambrosial array of ice cream. In fact, I even threw a few back with the President of Shell himself, Marvin Odum. OK, OK, so that's not exactly how it happened.
But just moments after meeting the charismatic chap, I indulged in some sweet frozen goo on a stick, only to see Mr. Odum scooting over to score one for himself a bit later. I like to think I gave him the idea.
Although you'll most certainly get the chance to perfect your golf clap in the Skybox (or your golf groan, as the case may be), oddly, that's the only ounce of traditional golf pretense you'll encounter, as exclusive as those tiered seats may be. Diehard golfies, marginal fans, and pseudo-socialites (like yours truly) all mythically find celestial common ground hovering above the club-and-ball action in the sky.