It all began when the members of the LU golf team were presented with the option of going somewhere warm (like Florida, for example) or driving down to St. Louis and Galesburg, Illinois to play our first tournaments of the spring season. For reasons I no longer remember (or understand), we decided to forgo a week of fun in the sun and opted instead for St. Louis and Galesburg.Thus on the afternoon of the 23rd of March, one coach, six guys, and seven golf bags (plus other assorted pieces of luggage) loaded into a van and set off on their great spring break golfing road trip adventure.
The other five members of the golf team, excluding me, had all participated in the fall season and therefore knew each other already. I was the newcomer, the rookie who needed to be indoctrinated into the ways of the golf team.
It started with lists; you know, the kind where you name your top five basketball players of all time. Then a cribbage board made an appearance, and I was able to witness for the first time the cutthroat competition it generates among the members of the golf team. Eventually we stopped for gas and I was introduced to Raisinettes.
You see, Raisinettes just happen to be Jeff’s favorite candy. At first I helped myself to a couple, then a couple more, and then still a couple more. By the end of the week I was waking up in the morning and reaching for the Raisinettes. I assure you it was not a pretty sight.
We stayed in relatively cheap hotels, where we watched a lot of TV and played cards or cribbage, when we weren’t out on the golf course. What about the golf, I hear you ask? Well, the golf was ugly. The conditions we encountered in St. Louis were the worst I have ever seen on a golf course and it was our first time out this spring. Galesburg was a relatively better experience, we got one day of ‘sunshine,’ but this column really isn’t about the golf. It’s about the creation of team spirit. The trip forced all of us to spend time together, be it in a hotel room or the van. We ate together, practiced together, and slept together. The constant companionship helped bring us together as a team. Not for one moment was I made to feel like an outsider.
While we did not exactly cover ourselves in golfing glory on this particular trip, the team spirit it created is definitely going to stand us in good stead over the remainder of the season, which reminds me, I need to go out and buy some Raisinettes. Our next tournament is on Monday.