The Happy Golfer

Inspiring time with war veterans is an honor for The Happy Golfer
May 24, 2009, 6:04 pm
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I had a great stay in Ohio, thanks to Pete and Annette. There is nothing like a large, comfortable bed, a warm, roomy shower with scented soap and shampoo for the little hair I have left, and great Greek food. Thanks to Gus at the Chalet; the egg-lemon soup was the best I have tasted in a long time, not to be outdone by the lamb sandwich. I played golf with Pete and his Greek friends four out of five days in the rubber capital city of the world, Akron, Ohio. Also, I had an oil change for the Mothership and put on six new tires. Can somebody remind me to clean the inside one of these next few days?

Ohio was state 33; if you multiply that times two rounds in each state, it equals 66 rounds, plus four rounds played on my off days, which equals 70 rounds in 59 days. Twelve of those days I played 36 holes in one day. The next state is Michigan. Two rounds, two different courses, one day. After that, two rounds at two courses in one day in Indiana, then on to Chicago on Thursday Night. Then a Friday round at Ruth Lake Country Club; my thanks to Callaway Professional Mark Labiak.

While I was playing hole #5, I noticed the women club members, The Swing Club Ladies, were hosting war veterans on the course for a few holes. It was a perfect time for me to help out with Ralph, whose shirt said Louisville, and a young man named Thomas, whose cap had the Notre Dame logo. Thomas used to be a 7 handicap and I am sure Ralph was not far behind. We hit some good shots, some average shots, and some bad shots, but that is what golf does to you. The company was Great , the weather was Great, the Swing Club Ladies were Great, and that is all with a Capitol  “G’!

They insisted that I stay for lunch, and for me to be at that golf course, at that time, with those wonderful war veterans and the great Swing Club Ladies, it is surely the highlight  of my golf journey. Thank you Ruth Lake; thank you Swing Club, and thank you United States war veterans. It was my honor to be in your presence.  It’s not like any of us are going to go on the Pro Tour; however golf is the common denominator and all of us will occasionally hit that shot that makes you come back. Today Ralph and Thomas and the rest of the war veterans played like Tiger Woods.  And that makes The Happy Golfer very, very happy.


An update from Nick
May 13, 2009, 10:59 pm
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Yesterday I played Orchard Creek in New York as a single; I played 36 holes in one day in two different states! As of today, I have played in 31 states, 64 rounds in 53 days on the road. Eleven times I played 36 holes in a day. Pretty good for a 73-year-old.

Last night, I headed to Afton Golf Course in N.Y., where Guy, the pro, comped me dinner, beer, camping and golf this morning. Such great hospitality there! I didn’t arrive until 8 p.m., but they waited for me. Thanks, also, to Shelby. What a gorgeous course, cut right out of a mountain.

This morning I played in a tournament there – I had to – couldn’t tee off until after 9 a.m.because the greens were frozen. They can only play six months out of the year because of weather conditions. Boy, are we spoiled in California. My partners were: Henry, 78, an Armenian fellow whose sister is married to a Greek; Dominic, an Italian, also 78; and Fred, a Czech, who is 92. I was the baby of the bunch! I managed to shoot an 80, with one birdie. My putting should have been better to shoot a 75. Afterwards, there was a great BBQ, with lots of golf talk. All in all, a wonderful day with wonderful people. I remain the Happy Golfer.

Wish Nick Happy Birthday!
May 9, 2009, 3:28 pm
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The Happy Golf is just full of news on the East Coast, and it’s his 73rd birthday today!

Friday marked the halfway point, in terms of distance, in his adventure. He’s was the farthest from California that he will be. Maine is his 28th state; he has driven 6,810 miles, played 58 rounds – he is even playing on his “days off.” The last three courses had him camp out in their parking lots, thanks to gracious pros, so he could get off and running with an early tee time.

Nick will be interviewed for the York Weekly publication in New Hampshire on Mother’s Day. We’ll post a link if the story is available online.

Send your Happy Birthday wishes to The Happy Golfer in the comments section below, and keep happy!

Happy Birthday to the Happy Golfer May 9
May 8, 2009, 3:13 pm
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Nick Karnazes, The Happy Golfer, is more than halfway to his goal of playing 96 rounds in 96 days in 48 states. He is in Maine today and tomorrow, and he’ll head on to New Hampshire on Sunday. This Tuesday, while playing a round at Brookmeadow Country Club in Canton, Massachusetts, he was interviewed by Boston’s FOX Channel 25. We’ll keep an eye out for a story link and post it when it becomes available. Have you seen The Happy Golfer on TV in your area? Send us a link and we’ll post it here.

This Saturday, May 9, marks The Happy Golfer’s 73rd birthday. Please join family and friends in wishing him another year of great health, great golf and great happiness! You can send your wishes to the comments section of the blog – his wife, Fran, reads him the messages every evening when he calls.

Nick, Fran and Callaway send their thoughts and kindest wishes to those affected by the California wildfires, as well as those heroes battling the fires.

The Happy Golfer is ahead of schedule, still happy
May 4, 2009, 4:28 pm
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An update from Fran, The Happy Golfer’s wife:  Nick finished early in Delaware, after playing 36 rounds, and New Jersey was his next destination. Arriving midday, he waited for his cousin, Lainie Manta, and her fiancé, Herc, to return from work and join him for the night in the RV. Lainie wanted to camp and Herc wanted to play golf, so they did both. The three spent the night in a state park; then the guys went off golfing while Lainie prepared to receive her master’s degree from NYU on Monday. Lanie and Herc will marry in Nassau this July – with a golf tournament on the schedule the day of the wedding – and the Karnazes’ will be there for the celebration! After saying farewell, Nick was off to play in Massachusetts at Norwood Country Club. The weather has been great, mostly warm and sunny, with a few showers along the way. Send some rain home to California, Nick, we need it!