I spent nearly two hours today in Borders researching travel books, then copying contact info from magazine mastheads so that I could submit queries about the upcoming golfing excursion on Kauai. I then came home and spent another hour pitching those magazines, then another hour trying once again to figure out how best to syndicate my adventure columns.
Between doing the research, seeing if any of the numerous businesses in the fancy El Segundo complex were hiring and sending the queries, I did two things: Began to read The Shortest Distance Between You and a Published Book, and played nine holes on an executive course called The Lakes at El Segundo.
I had begun to read the book long ago, before I abandoned the idea of hitting the road to pursue the Wal-Mart book, and I had played the course once long ago, during a "leisure Olympics," and I was not impressed at the time. I was, however, today. Very impressed. It is so much more impressive than the Rancho 3 Par course. The Lakes incorporates actual design elements, features elevation changes and demands challenges of golfers that the Rancho course doesn't even aspire to, let alone deliver. The huge greens, unlike the specks on baby Rancho, could make for wildly varied rounds, depending on pin placement.
And the course has a ridiculous and fantastic policy: If you're an El Segundo resident, you can play unlimited golf on weekdays for a grand total of $35 a month. Amazing.
It helps, of course, that I stated par, birdie, par. I stuck my wedge shot on the second hole to 4 feet from 112 yards. The rain began falling pretty hard while I was playing the second hole, but the wet condition really only affected one shot, when I slipped hitting a 4-iron on the third. But I parred it anyway. I came down to earth a bit, but loved the large greens, the undulating fairways and having the course to myself, playing in the rain, feeling okay for a while. I even got to hit the big dog on the last, depositing my drive pin high, but in the rough, on the 261-yard 9th.