Thursday, November 1, 2007

Golfing on Saipan

If you've followed my blog at all over the last few months you know that my philosophy is that weekends are made for diving. There's really no question of what I'll be doing on any given weekend, the only question is whether I'll be at the Grotto, Lau Lau or Wing Beach. So since my Saturday was taken over by non-diving activities, I got up bright and early Sunday morning and put my swimsuit on. I didn't really care where, but I was going diving, or so I thought. I don't know if these kinds of things ever happen to you or not, but there are some days where it just seems it doesn't matter what you think or plan, fate has another idea of what you'll be doing that day. Well, part of it might be fate, but really if I had to point my finger at anyone for pulling me out of the water on the 2nd day of a dive weekend, it would be aimed at Greg. I'm not going to go into a long drawn out explanation right now, but I have definitely decided it's time to write the book. So you'll just have to wait for the book to come out, or the movie that just might follow. Needless to say, the swimsuit had to be replaced with a pair of golf shorts. But I did need to get some pictures of Lau Lau East golf course and it looked like a pretty good day for golf. Now while it's true that I don't necessarily believe in having a dive buddy for myself, I always believe in having a golf buddy. You just never know when you might get hit in the head by a stray golf ball, keel over from heat stroke, or have a heart attack when you actually put your ball on the green right next to the pin from 200 yards out. So my designated golf buddy, caddy, potential life saver, golf club model, photographer, driver, and person designated to get all excited for me when I actually managed to get a good shot was Bev. And after all, it really could have been much worse, I could have had to go sit through a wedding, or I could have had to golf with Greg. I'm not really sure what my score was, and it didn't really matter, we were out to have fun, and that's exactly what we did. The golfing on Saipan is truly world class, we have some amazing golf courses, and Lau Lau East is at the top of the list. Quite a few of the holes go right along the cliff line and the ocean and the views are simply breathtaking. One of the other very cool aspects of this course is that several of the cart paths are carved out of the rocks. Even if you're not golfing, a trip through Lau Lau East is an amazing visual experience. There is beauty and gorgeous scenery on each and every hole. This is the view from the #5 tee box. You have to hit down across a pretty big expanse of jungle and try getting your ball to stay on the fairly narrow fairway. Not enough power or club and you'll be hitting from the drop box, and too much club or power and you will be over the fairway and into the brush and water on the other side. It's not a very forgiving hole, but it's still one of my favorites. This is the green at the end of that hole, and yes, the ocean is just as close on the other side of the green as it looks. Golfing with my camera, I'm torn between paying attention to the game, and looking for great pictures. Taking pictures won out. Then Kelli called from Texas, so I was talking to her while playing for a couple holes. I would tell her to hold on for just a second while I hit the ball, and then resume talking. Needless to say, those didn't wind up being some of my better holes, but I really enjoyed talking to her and hearing all about her trip and visit with Josh & Regis. Here is Bev, always in tourist mode ready to give the peace sign when getting her picture taken. This is an old Japanese tank that sits on the golf course property. Normally I don't like having my picture taken, and I very rarely ever post one of myself, but I thought this one was kind of cool because Bev actually captured the ball in flight. And yes, I did clear the water and hit the green. This is the view looking down on the #5 tee box. How can you not just be totally blown away by the awesome scenery all around you at a course like this?
Pretty much everywhere you turn, this is another amazing scene like this one. Palm trees and oceans just seem to be a natural together. Especially when you can manage to get them silhoutted by a sunrise or sunset over the water. And this is just one of the typical views looking back over a couple different fairways. So I may not have gotten any dives in last weekend, but really, how can I complain?