What an experience that was. ¬†Fort Worth, Texas sure is a long way from little ol‚?? Nu Zillin. ¬†And I‚??m not talking about kilometres here either. ¬†
Phil & wife Mel kindly organised a couple of passes for us to head out to the golf after we played..golf...in the afternoon. ¬†(The PGA Tour is in town this week at Colonial, just south of Fort Worth ‚?? roughly 40 miles from Tataurangi base camp north of Dallas). ¬†¬†Naturally I sported my new favourite pants ‚?? the most colourful, psychedelic numbers you will ever see ‚?? LoudMouth‚??s ‚??shagadelic‚?Ě print. ¬†Glorious troosers they are too. ¬†It‚??s fair to say though they drew mixed, and at times emotional, reactions from the Texan crowd.
Texas is a Republican state. ¬†From what I understand it‚??s one of the most conservative parts of the US, and today‚??s experience certainly lends weight to that description. ¬†Goodness gracious, is about as mild as I can put it; if looks could kill. ¬†Imagine walking into a British National Party rally with a burning Union Jack in your hand ‚?? today I felt like the equivalent of ‚??that guy‚?Ě. ¬†To be fair the feedback wasn‚??t all bad ‚?? although most of the complimentary chit chat came from (apparently single) middle aged women who‚??d had more plastic surgery than I‚??ve had cheeseburgers in the past 2 weeks ‚?? but it was the steely stares that left the greatest impression upon me. ¬†The local moustache touting sheriffs were particularly suspicious of this plucky Kiwi in his Sunday best.
The 13th hole ‚?? like the 16th at TPC Scottsdale ‚?? is a moshpit of drunken tomfoolery, where players are harassed on their walk to the green and ‚??in the hole‚?Ě is blared immediately a ball is struck (even if it's quite clearly not going anywhere near the hole). ¬†I was quite appalled at the crowd viciously ‚??boo-ing‚?Ě one particular player from start to finish ‚?? only to realise later that his name is Boo Weekley! ¬†Then I joined in booing! ¬†
On more occasions than I can count, we heard the words ‚??y‚??all ain‚??t from ‚??round ‚??ere are ya?‚?Ě ¬†Clearly not. ¬†But it was eye opening to experience tournament golf Texas style, and I‚??m glad we went along for a short ride. ¬†Fish out of water we may have been (and sweaty ones at that), but it was cool to see thousands of people at a golf event, as opposed to the meagre turn outs we generally get back home. ¬†Gave me the impression that golf is a mainstream sport here. ¬†Either that or people like being outside in the heat drinking beer!
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