After GIS insanity and then the Sierra Pacific Spring Symposium my plan was to disappear to Mexico for a deep breath before summer Turfhead grillage begins. I don't do well with time off. It's a language I don't really speak. So this trip was designed to take my head out of the game.
Week One was dropping into a small Mexican village known as a hippie escape. Yoga twice daily. Teaching what has become my new hobby, Energy and Bodywork in the evening. Minimal booze. Maximum sun.
Week Two a bit different. A cheap deal at a luxo coastal resort near a place called Barra Navidad. Still with the twice a day yoga. Exploring the Mexican coast and searching for perfect fish taco.
Isla Navidad Golf Club is here where I am, but like an old girlfriend, I made absolutely no arrangements to do anything turf related. In fact, making it a point to not even respond to any of the talk about post AM yoga class golf. And while I have better golf stories than most players, I'm not interested in telling them. I didn't even offer to wrap a 5-iron around anyone's neck for telling their hole by hole account of a 110 shot round.
The invitation was something I couldn't pass up. An American, winter marinating in Mexican fun, had been joining the AM yoga group and was taking some people out on his 56-foot Power Cat mini yacht and I was invited to come along. Being a lover of anything with more than 800 horsepower with satnav and radar, I was stoked to ask about a million boating questions. Beginning with, "will you loan me your boat for my next vacation".
Arrival at the dock at the appointed time, finding the boat. Simple. And the welcome surprise, about a dozen caddies from Isla Navidad. As it turns out, the boat owner, a doctor of some reputation (ironically from just near where I live), was showing his appreciation and doing a booze cruise for the loopers, all Mexican locals.
Introductions. My Spanish isn't great but Agronomista, Una Vez Cuidadiero de Verde, seemed to work and this HierbaCabeza was understood to be part of the game for which provided the guys (and one gal) a living.
Meeting all the caddies, remembering names. A Modello in each hand like all of them. New Brothers (and sister). Big smiles. Happy.
As El Doctore perfectly guides the big rig out of the marina, food was served. The popular item, Sushi from fresh caught tuna and snapper. One particular fellow who seemed to understand my Spanglish and I his Latinglish, lubed by a few beers began to talk golf. Him telling me about his 45 years of being a caddie in Mexico. Manuel. His vibrant energy overflowing as he told me about hanging doubles twice a day as a young boy. And his handicap, a 10. Right. Hold onto your wallet. I told him he'd have to give me a stroke a hole were we ever to tee it up. Quizas Dos.
Shouts of excitement stopped the chest beating session. A pair of small grey whales had been spotted and the caddies all grabbed phones and cameras and headed for the bow. "Balena!!", was the cry as the pair played in front of the boat as if on cue as the entertainment interval.
In that moment I realized the special people that are involved in doing the work of golf are some of the greatest people I have ever met. Watching them all joyfully take vids and pics of whales and each other made me cry joyful tears.
As one if the guys told me that none of the other rich people had ever done anything like this for them, he had a smile that would not come off his face. Beyond priceless.
The whales played with us for a while and then headed elsewhere. A Marlin Fin sighting caused new excitement. And so did the cervezas. My conversations with the caddies became easier with our level of blood alcohol rising. Talk of ball roll and dry vs wet and all the cool stuff of a conversation with those that spend every day on the course was easy.
Language or not. It was like I found my family. Mi Familia. And of course the invites to come play someday, come drink tomorrow, come to my house for really fresh fish, etc poured in with genuine love and respect. Some of the gang had spent time green keeping so they understood. They knew that somehow we Turfheads have to unite.
Even when I work to stay away from The Golf, The Golf seems to find me. And today I am more rich than yesterday because of a nice doctor, a really nice boat and some of the finest people God has ever created in the form of Mexican Caddies. You can't make this stuff up. Golf brings people together. It's time to remember that Para Me and Para Ti.