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Away We Go!
It started with a rush and it wasn’t adrenalin. It was water rushing from a broken hot water heater line that had water flooding the garage. That was what I heard when I went to the garage at 5:30 AM on departure day of my 50-week, 50-state golf tour to get a suitcase. What a way to start. Was this a way to test my patience for obstacles that I might encounter during my golf odyssey? Was this a bad dream? Once I realized it was neither of these, I turned off the water to the house, woke my significant other Shirley to alert her to the problem, and then went back to finish my packing. Fortunately there was a solution at hand....Sam Homant, a good friend and the contractor who did all the remodeling on our home which we had purchased a few years earlier, was called and agreed to come over and fix the problem. . At about 10:15 AM, with the rushing water problem ready to be solved, I doubled checked my car trunk which held the clothes I would need for a year on the road, the myriad of books of information about courses and places, two plastic file containers with an assortment of office supplies I would need, my new Toshiba laptop, two cameras, my beat up but still useable briefcase, and two bags of cereal, cookies and other assorted goodies I figured I would need on my trip. And of utmost importance of course, the new TaylorMade golf bag which TaylorMade graciously presented me into which I had placed my trusty left handed clubs, six dozen golf balls and my golf rain outfit which I had worn on all seven continents. I closed the trunk, backed out of the driveway, took a few photos, kissed Shirley goodbye and I was off to Fountain Hills, Arizona the first stop on my tour. While on the road for the next six hours I began to realize the long awaited day had come and my highly anticipated 50-week, 50-state golf tour was underway. I was excited, not only about the tour, but also the opportunity I had been given by Wounded Warrior Project to help raise awareness and contributions during my tour. (Let me be clear about this. I am not associated with nor will I receive any compensation from Wounded Warrior Project. I just feel strongly about the wonderful things they do to help wounded combat veterans who have returned from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and am proud to be able to help them in some small way). My plan is to urge everyone I meet to visit their website WoundedWarriorProject to see what they do and what they have accomplished since they were formed in 2003. I’m hopeful that when people understand the good that Wounded Warrior Project does, they will make a contribution to their organization. While driving I began to hope that all the planning I had done in preparation for my tour would prove to be correct, all the while knowing that I damn well would have to be resourceful, self sufficient and able to adjust to new surroundings and challenges for an entire year. Did I have second thoughts? Sure !!! Was I going to let these thoughts stop me? Not on your life. I had planned, talked about and desired to make this tour for so long I wasn’t about to let some mischievous mind games hold me back. I was about to do something that to my knowledge had never been done before by anyone. That in itself was stimulating. I was headed out to play golf in 50 states in 50 weeks and to give weekly reports on the nationally syndicated golf show Real Golf Radio about golf, places to stay, and things to see and do in the state I was visiting that week. For me this was going to be an exciting adventure, an opportunity to combine three passions... golf, travel and people. I hope when you listen to my weekly segments on Real Golf Radio, and read my weekly blogs on my website, TheTravelingGuy or on Real Golf Radio’s website, that you will let me take you on a vicarious golf and travel trip. My weekly goal will be to give you insight into courses and areas of the US that you might find interesting as possible destinations for future golfing vacations. I will be reporting on courses and areas from Alaska to Florida, Hawaii to Maine. The courses I will mention will all be open for public play. Some will be in the mountains, some will be on the seashore, and others will be in the desert. Some will be resort courses, some will be municipal courses. There will be a wide variety both in destination and style...for example, the northernmost course in the US, the highest USGA slope rated course in the US and the only FREE course in the US. My tour, which I have titled, Golfing the US with Chuck Miller, The Traveling Guy, is going to be an experience of a lifetime for me...and I hope for you.