Carmel Magazine

CM SP19 Web, 5-19

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E arly mornings and cold weather are the oil to my vinegar—my kryptonite. I've not been able to tolerate either since as far back as I can remember. In high school, I led my school, not just my grade, in tardies (damn that 7:30am star t time!) and was surely freezing my butt off during detention. Not much has changed since then. So, when two warm- hearted acquaintances (now dear friends) asked my husband Scott and me to join them on a once-in-a-lifetime golf excursion to Scotland, he told them we'd pass. "Dina doesn't function in the cold, and those early tee times will do her in." Not taking no for an answer, the couple emailed me the next morn- ing. Reflecting on how Scott and I had vowed to say "yes" more often when asked to do fun things, I typed three simple words: "We'd love to," Incredulous, Scott asked if I needed my temperature taken. "Nope. I can do this. Let's start practicing in crummy weather." I've lived in the Carmel area for more than 25 years and played golf on and off for 20 of those. I'd venture to say it's my favorite pastime. I set stereotypes aside and learned to love the game and all the people who come with it. I adore the scenery, the silent moments, the patience, and the competition against no one but myself. Golf is the only thing I do in my life where I don't "fly by the seat of my pants." Instead, there are rules to follow and precision of mind and body to manage. It's a game of repetition that is never the same twice. But, in all those years, I had probably only forced myself to play in unruly conditions a few times. I'd cringe, warm in my car, as I'd drive past groups forging up Pebble Beach's legendary 14th and 15th holes in inclement weather. "How awful to pay all that money and play in that!" I'd muse. My work was now cut out for me to acclimate to playing in cold, wind and rain, which was no problem in our area's unpre- dictable climate. I wore yoga pants, thick golf pants and knee socks on my bottom half; a thermal shirt, long sleeved tee, col- lared shirt, wind breaker and jacket on top. Neck scarf. Hat. Cotton in ears. Hand warmers in palms. Scott wore a short- sleeved golf shirt and had a light sweater in the back of the cart, just in case he was chilly. We trekked and trudged through coastal rounds in drizzle and fog in preparation for our journey to the historic home of golf. By the time we got there, I was ready. Sort of. The true origins are up for debate, but it's widely accepted that modern golf—the game as we know it—originated in Scotland in the 1500s. When we arrived, all talk centered not around the usual Scot's bragging rights over the Irish, but around the crazy weather they'd just had, causing a record pollen explosion. A freak heat wave followed by unexpected thunderstorms had created spores so bad that it made news all over the UK. I, allergic to grass and pollen, was duly affected. Within hours, I could barely breathe properly. So, I slapped on a surgical mask that I usually reserve for wearing on an airplane when someone is unconsciously hacking in the row behind me. Seven of our group of eight were up and at 'em in the am, enjoying jovial mornings in the restaurants before golf while I skipped the haggis to put on my padding, adding about three inches to my girth. Mask on my face, still shivering through 14 layers, I soldiered on. That is, until my right eye almost swelled shut and I had to recuse myself from playing one of the most famous courses in the world. I spent the day soaking in a bath- tub, ice pack on my face, a blow dryer turned on and strategi- cally aimed at me from the vanity, and the heater blaring in the other room. All I could think about was playing golf again. Golf does that to you. The next day, my eyes returned to human shape and I rejoined the group. Now, as I watch the people on their pilgrimage to Pebble Beach, umbrellas sometimes blowing backward in the wind, other times their arms red from a Carmel sunburn, I think to myself, I get it. I love it, too. Dina Eastwood is a former news anchor at KSBW TV, past host of "Candid Camera" and has starred on a reality show on the E! Network. She is a writer, editor and yogini. She resides on the Monterey Peninsula with her daughter, Morgan. BEHIND THE SPOTLIGHT D I N A E A S T W O O D My work was now cut out for me to acclimate to playing in cold, wind and rain, which was no problem in our area's unpredictable climate. Golf is a Four-Letter Word 48 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 9

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