There were no alligators, but I was warned there might be a wild boar. Apparently they like to root around the soft turf on the edges of the greens.
Some of the balls dispensed at the practice range look like they were dredged from a pond, but not until they'd had a good two- or three-year soak. The distance markers on the range are hand painted and probably not accurate. But it doesn't much matter because the sodden balls don't fly normally anyway.
I'm playing golf again.
After a nearly year-long hiatus, I'm back in the swing thanks to a group of 20-odd Brit and Scot expats who stage weekly outings over the border in Catalonian Spain.
Mostly they play pitch-and-putt courses, aka par-3 courses. But these are no powderpuff layouts. The one we played this morning, Mas Pages, is set into a hillside near Girona, and some of the holes stretch to more than 170 yards plus uphill. The longest club I brought, a 7 iron, simply wasn't enough on a couple of holes. (Note to self: bring longer clubs next time.)
There are legitimate bunkers (managed to miss all of those) and some crazy terrain bounces. And the greens are rather tiny targets, most barely 10 or 12 paces across. If you manage to land (and keep) your tee shot on the green, you've got a decent chance at birdie. Plenty of tilt to the greens as well; even short putts can be tricky.
On one of the shorter holes (about 70 metres, or 80 yards), the key obstacle was a large tree smack in front of the green.
At the top of the course, the view of the Pyrenees was spectacular. Amazing that I can play golf in Spain in the morning and be home in France for lunch.
I'm one of those rare lucky guys whose wife actually encourages to play golf. She knows how much I love it and she indulges me. On top of that, to soothe my aching muscles from all those pressure-filled shots, she booked a massage session for me. Amazing woman!