It is time for the annual golf trip. Early March. For those of you who know me, it is legendary. This year marks 17 years and 12 guys. It began as a fluke … standing around at a cocktail party in the fall of 1995. The scene was Houston, Texas. Somebody said, really just to make conversation, “Why don’t we all go to Florida for a weekend of golf?”  Three months later we landed in Orlando.

The trip isn’t what it used to be. We don’t (can’t) stay out as late as we once did. We have more aches and pains (back, knee, elbow, etc.), along with more ibuprofen and support devices to help. Just take a look at the pictures over the years. Oh yeah, a little more grey hair for those of us who still have most of our hair.

We have seen kids graduate from school (high school and college). When we started this annual event we were all beyond having our own babies, but there have been marriages of our kids – and some are blessed with grandkids. We have jointly experienced divorces and remarriages and a list like everyone develops as you go through life.

In the process, we have formed some very deep bonds. This trip is something that we all share and is unique to the group. Just last year, we sat around eating pizza talking about the “Top 10” of the trip. Sayings, events, meals … whatever we thought were the top 10 memories. It was quite a night – great fun.

And, as with life, we have lost a few members of the group over the past few years. They have passed on … maybe to a great fairway or green. But those guys aren’t in a sand trap or water hazard, they’re in the middle of the fairway or they just sunk a one putt. True gentlemen. Missed terribly.

There is a fair amount of wagering – can’t say how much because we might have to start issuing 1099s. Usually costs me more than I win. And it seems that we really never get any better.  In spite of the aches and pains, the lost wagers and the lack of a real progress in the golf game, every year – with great anticipation – we make the trek to Florida.

Oh, and that concept of a golf weekend?  Yeah … it’s a week now. Okay, you caught me. Actually just six days.

Keep your head down and swing through the ball.