“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” – Dolly Parton
Complete strangers before October 2015, Birmingham Ben, Iowa Jay, and Wyoming Chad started becoming good friends of mine over an exquisite day of golf at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN. (You may have heard of Hazeltine. It hosted the Ryder Cup shortly after our visit.)
Though geographically separated by thousands of miles, we decided we should stay in touch. Not some high school yearbook fake stay in touch, an actual I think we should be active friends.
In July 2017, the four of us embarked on a golf week in Wyoming and Montana, the Wild West taking center stage and igniting my newfound love with that part of the country.
In August 2018, missing one member of the crew, we converged on my old stomping grounds in Charlotte, NC, a side trip down the road to golf mecca Pinehurst also on the agenda.
In September 2019, Birmingham and Auburn, AL (and 18 hours in New Orleans) took the reigns, hosting the four of us for what turned out to be a wonderful surprise, our expectations surpassed at seemingly every turn.
We were on a roll. Let’s do this every year. Shouldn’t be any issue. But then the wind changed direction, and 2020 hit.
2020 was full of twists and turns, and unfortunately, our annual golf trip got sidelined. Could we make it to Iowa? Could I host down on the Gulf Coast? Or should we just punt and resume in 2021? The latter won out, and visions of Iowa 2021 centered around Saturday’s Iowa-Iowa State football game danced around in our minds. This is going to be epic, maybe better than Alabama.
Then I started a new career and Baby Girl decided that September 2021 sounded ideal for an arrival, so the wind changed direction again.
Birmingham Ben actually made the trip to Iowa this past week, visiting with Jay and having a brilliant time, I’m sure. As we all texted back and forth, it became apparent that even though our full group trip took 2020 and 2021 off, a smattering of memorable side trips (one I had totally forgotten) continued popping up to keep the friendships rocking and rolling.
Ben and I in Destin, FL May 2017 and at East Lake Golf Club March 2019.
Jay and I in Iowa/Minnesota/South Dakota June 2019.
Jay and I in Kansas City November 2020.
Ben and I in Pinehurst February 2021.
Chad and I in New Orleans April 2021.
Ben and Chad in Wyoming/Montana May 2021.
Ben and Jay in Iowa last week.
The trips with all four of us are still the best, never a dull moment to be had. (We are each genuinely fascinated with where and how the other three live.) But until the wind blows us all back together, maybe in 2022, we will just keep adjusting the sails. The unique friendships we made that gorgeous autumn day at Hazeltine are too valuable to let slip away.
Speaking of adjusting the sails, Baby Girl is coming in less than 72 hours. So when we talk next time, whenever that may be, overlook the misspellings.
There’s going to be less sleep, but more love.
Have a great week.-Benj
Join the abk community!
Follow along on Instagram @anythingbutkhakis, @abkgolf, and now @anythingbutkhakisphotography.
If you enjoy these and would like to get the weekly piece via email, please follow on the website http://www.anythingbutkhakis.com.