One week from now, I will be boarding a plane bound for Ireland. Due mostly to the country’s golfing heritage, it’s a place I’ve long wanted to visit and enjoy.
Wrapped around my golfing related trips, there will also be the little matter of my own wedding to attend to. It’s going to be held at Springfield Castle, a splendid place with a lush landscape, wonderful scenery and beautiful design.
Enough about that and back to the golf. Forever, Ireland has been a type of sports pipe dream for me. Being a golf historian, I have learned and appreciated Ireland’s role in the game. I’ve enjoyed watching their golf heros win on the big stage, from Graeme McDowell to Padraig Harrington to Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke, Ireland has produced some exciting golf moments recently. To be a part of it up close and personal is thrilling. Quite frankly, I never thought I’d get there to experience it.
I’m scheduled to play Adare Manor, site of the Irish Open in 2008, coincidentally won by Harrington. As a golfer, to be able to walk those same fairways as he did is a thrill. I’m also trying to arrange a trip to Hollywood Golf Club, the home course of McIlroy. Along the way, I plan on visiting other famous courses and even finding a bookstore to purchase Clarke’s new book, which isn’t avalible in the United States. I know, I’m a bit of an extremist. Due to these variables, it will probably end up being the most exciting sports related trip I’ve ever taken wrapped around a wedding.
Is there one particular trip like this you wish to make? In my life, I’ve also visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Hockey Hall of Fame. Those trips have each been amazing as well, allowing me to closely connect with sports I love. There are plenty of other trips yet to come, including a long overdue visit to Cooperstown and other American golf pilgrimages. I’d also like to visit a Final Four somewhere along the way.
Fortunately, for us sports fans, there are plenty of options. Maybe you want to visit a Detroit game or see your favorite college team up close. Perhaps it’s a visit to a hall of fame or some similar golf trips. You could even wish to visit an Olympics or a World Cup soccer match. Provided you’re a passionate enough fan who’s got the time, some spare cash and the desire, the opportunities are limitless.
Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. After all, if I’m managing to squeeze some of my own dream golf trips around a wedding, anything is possible. As any man could attest, mixing wedding with sports fantasy can often be dangerous business.
Sometimes, you just gotta live dangerously.
Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax