Remember when you would buy your toddler the coolest, most colorful toy you could find, and when you gave it to him all he wanted to do was play with the box? I would call my sister and she would say, “Oh yeah, don’t buy toys, just pour a box of rice in a piece of Tupperware. It’ll be their favorite thing.” And she was right.
And that didn’t seem to be changing. I once took my kids to see the Charlotte Observer newsroom, and they walked past all the computers, flatscreens and reporters and went straight to a stack of bubble wrap.
Oddly, at 10 years old, it’s pretty much the same. I take three boys out of school early and tell them we’re going to the Wells Fargo golf tournament practice round, and all they can talk about is how happy they are that they’re gonna miss math.
But missing math’s got nothing on riding a shuttle bus. I try to get them interested in a pairing sheet, but their fascination with the little TVs hanging from the ceiling has me wondering if we should just ride the shuttle back and forth to Quail Hollow all day.
But I underestimate their excitement at being given a grounds pass – and their competitive natures as they argue over who can attach it to his belt loop fastest.
Curiosity over what’s inside the big welcome tent gets them off the shuttle, but then their little minds get blown when they realize the tiny wooden pencils are free. And so are the Tootsie Rolls.
Seeing that professional golf, played on a beautiful course, is not going to be the main attraction today, I need a strategy for at least making it to the driving range. The promise of a Bojangles biscuit that they can eat while sitting on BLEACHERS, gets me close enough to some action, where I think I see Rory McIlroy. Or at least someone who could be Rory McIlroy. All these golfers look like Rory McIlroy – from the back.
I get them to the merchandise tent, by way of a frozen lemonade stand, and they all ask for Wells Fargo Championship hats – for autographing. Then I spend the entire day standing at the putting green holding three frozen lemonades, while they corner golfers to sign their hats. Which to them is the sole reason for being there. But stressful for me, because it’s my job to figure out which golfer is which and check him off the list.
Which is really hard when you’re holding three frozen lemonades. And they all look like Rory McIlroy.
I’m kind of excited about getting back on the shuttle.
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