Monday, August 11, 2014

Day Two at the PGA Championship

On Friday morning, I got up around 7:00 a.m., got my shower and got dressed and then discovered that I had traveled all the way to Louisville without so much as a comb or a brush. So, I got a comb from the front desk and it was a miracle it didn't break when I combed the tangles out of my freshly washed hair. I woke my dad up and he got dressed and we headed downstairs for breakfast. 

When I had gone to the front desk that morning, I noticed it was pouring rain. We knew the weather forecast was rain and so it wasn't all that surprising. There was a rain delay at the tournament that morning and so we made some plans of things we could do in case play did not resume. Since there was an hour or so delay, we decided to go to the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory and Museum and take a tour. 

The factory was in downtown Louisville and we got there just in time for what I think was probably the first tour of the day at 9:20 a.m. There were quite a few people there who were biding time until the rain delay at the PGA Championship passed. The tour lasted about 30-40 minutes and our guide did a great job. You could tell he was very passionate about baseball and the history of the game. He also did great impersonations of famous baseball celebrities. At the end of the tour, each person is given a miniature Louisville Slugger bat. 

After the tour, our guide opened up the bat vault for those who wanted to go and there were five of us who took him up on the offer. Inside the bat vault, they have the original models of bats used by famous baseball players such as Babe Ruth, George Brett, Roberto Clemente and many others. It was very interesting to see and hold the bats and feel the different weights of the bats. Bats today are much lighter now than they were 50 years ago. We learned more about the contracts that the athletes signed with Louisville Slugger. Most of the contracts were for a set of gold clubs and a $100 - unheard of today. 

When we finished up in the bat vault, we left to go back over to Churchill Downs to park the car and ride the bus over to the golf course. I think we got to the course a little bit before noon. There were already tons of people out and about and lot coming in when we did as well. We decided to head over to the green at 17 to watch the action. Since it had rained all morning and (I'm assuming) the night before, the common walking areas were basically a big mud pit. We had to traverse very carefully over to the grandstands for fear we may slip and fall down the muddy slopes of Valhalla. We made it to the stands without incident, although I had one close call. 

We stayed at 17 for the early afternoon. The drizzle would come and go, but it was not terrible and we both had rain jackets and I had brought in a sheet that I had in the back of the car for when Pip takes a ride - thankfully it had just been washed. The sheet was used to wipe off the seats in the grandstands so our backsides wouldn't get too wet. We saw a lot of groups come through, but not too many big names. Since we had missed Rickie Fowler on day one, I really wanted to see him on day two. So, we headed back over to eight to try and catch him there, but the grand stands were full and it didn't look like anyone would be leaving any time soon, plus there was a large line to get in. 

We ended up at 13 which was my dad's favorite hole and the signature hole at Valhalla. We sat up on a hill overlooking the green. We got to see Rickie Fowler and a lot of the other big names come through, some of whom we had seen the day before. It was a great spot. After the Phil Mickelson group came through, we left for the day, catching the bus back to Churchill Downs. It took longer than usual to get back to Churchill as it seemed our bus driver didn't know where the heck he was going, but we finally made it back and then to the car. 

We stopped at Longhorn for dinner before beginning the long journey home. We enjoyed a really yummy meal and then got on the Interstate headed South. I was having trouble seeing - my eyes were tired and I think my prescription may have changed since last year - and so when we were just north of Nashville, we stopped and changed drivers. I tried my best to stay awake the rest of the ride home, but I nodded off a time or two, but not for long periods of time. 

We finally made it back to my house about 12:30. As we were unloading the car, the lady who had taken care of The Pip pulled up. She had dropped Pip off earlier in the evening and had been texting and calling and I was oblivious to it all. So, she wanted to check on Pippa and let her out again in case we were not home. She went on in to let The Pip out while we finished unloading the car. My dad then headed home and so did Galen and I was able to call it a night, or morning as the case may be. 

It was a whirlwind trip, but we certainly had a great time. We both really enjoyed ourselves and it was nice to get away for a couple of days. 

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