I don't golf but I do hold the sport in high esteem, as it got me out of having to take football in PE. It was my respite and my oasis in lieu of those full-contact sports that can leave the captain of the chess club (me) with severe damage to the cerebral cortex. Who am I? I am a golf widow (er).
At its most primal level, the ubiquitous golf widow(er) is often defined as a one-dimensional sort of person whose other half spends an inordinate amount of time playing golf. That definition, while accurate, is perhaps what has kept the golf widow trapped in the hotel room or poolside crocheting amidst a gaggle of others.
When referenced, the golf widow(er) is often portrayed as a lonesome dove longing for his/her spouse as he/she traverses the hills, valleys and sand traps, equally longing to smack a tiny ball over unprecedented distances eventually cajoling it to come to rest proudly and preferably under par.
The golf widow(er), for ages misunderstood... No longer that seemingly lost soul, he/she has taken back control, taken on the world and risen from the ashes like the mythical phoenix to live again.
I am a golf widower and in this new age, our faces have changed as we are a multi-gender, multicultural and multiplying at unprecedented speeds, as more and more men and women take to the golf courses, the driving ranges and swing as they chip away great chunks of turf from carefully manicured lawns during endless hours of banter and a hole by hole dissection reliving a game that takes a great deal of skill, dexterity, athleticism and patience. All of which I have none.
So as the new age of the golf widow(er) dawns where is one or two to go to get the full experience from well under par, to par excellence? I highly recommend the island of Kauai, the oldest geologically of the main Hawaiian Islands boasts a laid back atmosphere with views that rival any and yes it has some of the worlds best golf courses... So what is a golf widow(er) to do?
Should you yearn for the finer things, start your vacation at the St Regis and let your golfer unleash the beast as your personal butler helps you unpack. Next head for the spa where pampering is taken to new heights.
While my other half was off at the Makai Golf Club and Princeville Golf Course, I felt no regrets having my butler (no apologies, as it is an option) take up my slack as I got to know a chocolate chip macadamia nut tart in what was nearly a religious experience. The property is everything you would expect from a St. Regis with a sense of island charm and an understated elegance that makes it never seem crowded.
Being a golf widow(er) takes a certain level of creativity and as such I booked a private meeting with Chef de Cuisine, Maxime Michaud, to learn about the local markets and ingredients infused into the resort's spectacular meals.
After a traditional Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage at the Halele'a Spa, I sat quietly enjoying the view of the Makana Mountain, known to most musical theater enthusiasts as Bal Hai from "South Pacific" and drank a Bloody Mary (or two) to toast my good fortune recognizing just some of the perks associated with being a golf widow(er).
Any true golf fanatic knows when in Kauai it is rarely one stop on the Golf Express and so if a large sprawling resort atmosphere is more your idea of the ideal setting to lose yourself in a little bit of everything I would recommend the Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa and definitely order the Molten Lava cake at the Tide pools restaurant.
Poipu Bay Golf Course, pronounced "Poy-poo," Puakea Golf Course and Kau'i Lagoons Golf Club take the avid golfer from one side of the island to the other with each offering unique challenges from green to rough with fairways that support players of all levels.
Ah the life of a golf widow(er) still so misunderstood. So as your other half takes a swing at greatness sit back and relax reflecting on the difficult decisions that face you... spa day versus shopping, cocktails poolside or in your own private cabana? And of course, the most troubling, what to wear to dinner once your golf fanatic returns to quickly take his/her mind off of one game and focus it on another.
Photo Credit: Joshua Estrin
NOTE: In the spirit of full disclosure I was not paid by any of the venues nor do I have any commercial interest in them.
Follow Joshua Estrin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JoshEstrin