The calls came at about 11:00AM yesterday, one after the other, as I was crawling through traffic towards the Tappan Zee Bridge.
The first one was from Western PA and the second from Binghamton, NY. Both were from people I had planned to meet in Clifton, and both told me they had decided to put their visits off till Friday...today.
Admittedly, it was wet, gray and blustery, but it's frequently that way around here at this time of year. I've been known to play golf in the rain, and I was ready to watch the first round of the Sybase Classic through intermittent showers and occasional wind gusts. However, the interstate was that proverbial parking lot, and I suddenly realized I was in the middle of Westchester County.
Westchester County is significant because I recently took a writing assignment that'll have me interviewing staff and members at a number of golf courses and country clubs in the New York City suburbs. The book is about the recession, and its impact on day-to-day life, in an area so tied to Wall Street and high finance. I'm researching and writing a chapter on the golf industry. I plan to be back here next Monday to begin this project and already have a number of interviews scheduled, but there were others I still needed to set up, so being the intrepid journalist that I (sometimes) am, I decided to see what I could do to put an early dent in this job. Well, to make a long story short, things fell into place. I was able to to get to four different venues, and talk to a half dozen key participants. What they had to say convinced me that this will be a fascinating and enlightening book. I'll keep you posted on progress.
While I regretted missing the first day of play at Sybase - and Helen Alfredson's amazing record-breaking round-I did get quite a bit done on this thought-provoking project. And I'll be heading down to Clifton tomorrow.
The highlight of the day came when the manager of a great little public course, renowned for its rolling hills and steep slopes, introduced me to the yellow duck in the photo above. The little guy is set to compete in the upcoming "rubber duck race" that'll be part of a local spring festival. In the meantime he made a perfect model for my rainy day golf photo.
And...if you haven't seen it, here's a fun interview that cute golf blogger Stephanie Wei got with the awesome Cristina Kim when she DID get down to Sybase on Tuesday.