The Magical Bonding of the 19th Hole

After your round, the 19th hole provides the perfectly relaxed setting to take your newly enhanced personal or business relationship to the next level. Or, indeed, add new memories to a cherished old friendship. As a guest, I always feel it’s my duty to support the club with at least a token round of drinks and, perhaps, many more if on holiday or a driver is on hand. There are no trunk slammers in my group!

Perhaps you have already had the unique pleasure of sipping a Guinness in the very modern bar at the Old Head near Kinsale as you gaze out at the mist rolling in off the Irish Sea.

As it happens, I’m in the Emerald Isle right now, penning this whilst sitting in that clubhouse in the very seat (so I’m told) that Rory sat in not a week ago. A pint of Harp lager is on its way as I listen to the strange chatter from the table behind me, which is in a language I don’t understand. (It turned out the guys were from Shreveport, Louisiana).

Through the window I gaze up at the lighthouse that sits on top of a massive cliff overlooking the 17th green which, despite being almost 600-yards from the tee, I had hit in two earlier that day thanks to what my caddie, Des, referred to as “a slight helping breeze.” (In Florida, we give breezes like that their own names!)

Des, a scrawny man of indeterminate vintage dressed in pre-War tweed, is already propping up the bar and informing anyone who will listen that, ‘His man’ (me) reached the 17th this very afternoon with two shots, “The likes of which I have never seenbefore!” By flattering me in this way he shrewdly secured my continued patronage and ensured I picked up the tab for his entire evening’s considerable consumption!

Ah yes, the magic of the 19th hole where rounds are recounted like the fairy tales of old, getting grander and more astonishing with each round of drinks.

Who could fail to be impressed by the oak-paneled Tap Room at Pebble Beach? Surrounded by the nostalgic sepia prints of the golfing greats of yesteryear, it’s magnificent. As well as an amazing ambience, it boasts a huge selection of draft beers and a great range of wonderful appetizers. Try the roasted artichoke, yum!

While location and ambience are nice, the ultimate measure of your 19thhole experience is usually the company. Cold beer tastes good just about anywhere but fine conversation and the warm glow of friendship is a thing to be treasured. Somehow the 19th hole relaxes and opens people up in a way no normal pub or bar can, especially if you happen to be a stranger.

A casual enquiry about another’s round is all it takes to strike up a conversation and friendship follows soon thereafter. The kindred spirit among golfers is reinforced by the secret language of the game. It matters not who’s richer, more important or even the better player at the 19th hole. You join together as one and set the world’s problems to right and moan about the younger generation with a glass of your favorite beverage.




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