Friday, June 17, 2011

A Special Tour

When I signed up for the Washington DC Triathlon last October, my plan was to turn the event into a family vacation.  My wife, my kids, and I would load up the minivan, drive up to DC, and spend a few days sightseeing before the race.  Then we learned in November that my wife was expecting our third child and that she would be eight months pregnant on the date of the triathlon.  We were thrilled with the news, but needless to say, our travel plans had to change because taking a road trip of several hundred miles is simply not advisable so far along in a pregnancy.

With the triathlon taking place on Father's Day, I decided to invite my dad and brother to accompany me to DC and make a father/son weekend out of it.  They accepted the invitation, and I started planning activities for the weekend.  Of course, I made plans for us to visit the memorials on the National Mall, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and the United States Capitol.  We'll probably also go to a Washington Nationals game at Nationals Park.  But I wondered if there was something really special we could do, like play a round of golf at an exclusive club, for example.  Congressional Country Club immediately came to mind.

Of course, it was incredibly naive of me to think there was any possibility that three average guys from South Carolina would be able to set foot on the grounds of this highly exclusive club, which, according to its Wikipedia entry, has an initiation fee of $150,000 and a 2-3 year wait for new members to use the golf facilities.  However, as luck would have it, I discovered the club is scheduled to host the 111th U.S. Open on Father's Day weekend.  What a coincidence!

Ticket prices to the second major golf championship of the season are steep, starting at $125 for a single day grounds pass.  However, I simply could not pass up this rare opportunity to experience a major sporting event with my dad and brother, so I purchased three Sunday passes.  Thus, once I cross the finish line on Sunday morning, the three of us will be heading out to Bethesda, not to play golf, but to watch the world's most elite golfers battle it out for the title on the Blue Course.

Here's the coolest part: as of this writing, my dad doesn't yet know he's going to the U.S. Open with his sons on Father's Day.  I've only told him that I arranged a "special tour" for that afternoon (by which I meant the PGA Tour, of course).  That's why this mid-week entry is a day later than usual; I didn't want my dad to see it before we hit the road on Friday morning.  I'm going to reveal the plan by giving him and my brother garnet and black PGA Tour caps with the Gamecock baseball logo along with their grounds passes once we arrive in DC.  I have a matching cap, so we'll be sporting our Gamecock colors as a trio.  Look for us on TV!

I'm looking forward to an incredible weekend that my dad, my brother, and I will long remember!

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