It was definitely a joy to play, despite being caught in a torrential downpour, which providentially led to me being joined by three caddies who were having a skins game but were willing to let me tag along. I struggled mightily on the greens, and, after a double-crossed fairway bunker shot ricocheted off a pine and ended up out of bounds, was happy to forget the scorecard and started smelling the azaleas and appreciating the master's work in designing such a beautiful and challenging golf course.
I was rewarded with a par on the 222 yard par 3 twelfth hole, despite my Sunday-best three wood off the tee ending up short of the putting surface, and happily ended the day with a birdie out of the bunker on the closing par 5. I was left feeling there might just be hope for this old, half-crippled warrior if I don't lose my sense of humour and Can learn to putt! Sometimes, it's best to just lose your pencil and enjoy the walk.
I feel so fortunate to have visited this golfing Mecca and to have played a couple of courses designed by a master architect and played by some of the game's great players. Tomorrow, I have one more crack at Number 1 before packing the van and heading back to Canada where the snow has finally melted.