No More Cold Balls!

Thank God Spring has arrived because apparently I made a critical mistake last week while Tom was gone.

I tend to like to keep a tidy house…and when Tom is gone, I indulge my somewhat controlled OCD tendencies to put everything in its place. After a LONG Winter of preparing for him to hit the road; storing various golf accessories in our front room; including a full-sized putting green, a new golf bag, several putters, several dozen golf balls and some loose practice putting balls…I decided to clean up a bit. During that process I moved a box of about 10 dozen golf balls into the garage. Yes. I MOVED HIS BALLS INTO THE COLD GARAGE! Oh. My. Gosh. You’d think by his reaction when he got home to the discovery of my faux pas that I’d just sliced the cover stock on each one of them.

Him: Why did you put my balls in the garage??? It’s cold out there!!

Me: And that’s bad why?

Him: Nobody likes cold balls! Have you ever used cold balls? They don’t feel the same.

Me: I’m sorry honey. It’s not going to be cold forever. You’re home for a month, I’m sure your balls will warm up by then.

Him: You don’t understand. They have to be kept warm.

Me: Fine. Bring your balls inside & keep them in the basement.

Honestly. I consider myself to be pretty understanding and even overly accommodating when it comes to this sport that dominates every aspect of our lives…but I’m fairly certain that cold balls never really hurt anyone. Do they feel different? Sure, I’ll bet they do; I can’t say I’ve really experienced cold balls before, but if he’s going out to play golf I’m going to guess it’s probably going to be nice out & his balls will warm up. And if he’s traveling somewhere to golf, then I hate to break it to him but his balls will be tucked away in his bag which will probably get cold in the plane.

But here is where I choose my battles. Okay honey, have it your way. I’ll make sure your balls stay warm.

It’s Not What You’d Think…

This past weekend I accompanied Tom to his Monday qualifier in Duluth, Georgia. I really didn’t know what to expect, but what I had in my minds eye wasn’t even close to what I experienced.

You’d think these PGA Tour qualifiers would be very formal. Business-like. Staunch (for lack of a better word)…and not without some sort of fanfare surrounding them. Kind of like what we experienced at USGA events or even at the 2nd stage of Q-School in Scottsdale. In reality it wasn’t unlike a West Michigan Golf Association event…except I feel like there is a little more “excitement” at a WMGA event and honestly the courses the WMGA hosts their tournaments at are nicer! Now granted, the club for this qualifier was a “plan B” so perhaps the original course would’ve been a little nicer. It was actually kind of funny how it came to pass that the qualifier would be held there. When Tom called the first course about a week and 1/2 before to make a practice round tee time, he was told by the pro-shop that they “weren’t allowing any practice rounds”. Excuse me? How can you host a Champions Tour Qualifier & not allow practice rounds?? Tom thought it was really odd…I suggested he call his contact at the Champions Tour Office to find out if that’s normal. The next day, before he had a chance to call, he got a text message from the Champions Tour stating there was a change in qualifying venues! If I had to guess (and I basically do because we don’t know the reason)…I’d have to say the Tour didn’t take to kindly to the course deciding it wouldn’t allow practice rounds! Me thinks they won’t be getting any Tour events there in the future! Which brings us to the Plan B course. It was okay…it actually reminded me a bit of the way The Highlands used to be. It was a very nice clubhouse, but a little dated. The course was built in 1964 and the clubhouse retained some of its original character. The golf course reminded me of a Northern Michigan course. The fairways were in less than stellar condition but the greens were perfect as was the sand in the bunkers. The fairways were almost burnt looking in a lot of places & there was no real “rough” to contend with. It was a bit tight & had a couple good risk-reward holes though.

Most all the guys know each other at these things…and have a pretty good dossier to support them being there. The exception would be some of the guys who qualified like Tom did via Q-School & possibly the guys who qualified by making it past the Thursday pre-qualifier (I think only 4 of them advanced). The rest are former tour players (, PGA Tour, Champions Tour) who have had some sort of success that allowed them to bypass pre-qualifying. Take for example one of his playing partners this past qualifier; Grant Waite. He won the Kemper Open in 1993 and finished 2nd to Tiger Woods at the Bell Canadian Open in 2000. Granted that was a long time ago…but there’s a reason he’s at the qualifier with Tom. He earned his place and certainly isn’t done competing.

It becomes obvious that Tom really is something of a unicorn out there…and for sure…the whole experience is nothing like we (or at least I) expected. Not at this point. I’m sure, however, that the actual events will be more what we’re used to in as much as the organization, professionalism & overall atmosphere is concerned that we experienced in USGA events which is just another reason to want to get there!

Pictures below are of the qualifier course in Duluth, GA.

Berkeley Hills Country Club

A Love Story

Today, Tom & I celebrate 20 years of marriage. Looking forward, 20 years seems like such a long time. Looking back, it’s like the blink of an eye. This is true of almost anything in life…and certainly of death. When we lose a loved one, time flies by and before you know it…they’ve been gone how long?? It seems like yesterday that they were here. Trying to imagine living without them for another 20 years seems impossible.

It seems like yesterday that I was living in mobile home in Clinton Twp (East side of the State) going through a divorce as a single mother of two; spending every other weekend alone, passing my time chatting online in an AOL Chat Room on my daughter’s school computer. I’d been dating online for a little less than a year by that time & I can tell you that even back then, before all the dating sites and before online dating was socially acceptable, people were really good at blurring the line between truth & flat out lies. I was 5’8″, weighed 127 lbs (divorce diet) and measured 36-26-36. The only way you could get a picture of someone back then was to ask for a picture – so I got all kinds of attention until I sent a picture – then the conversations would usually come to an end as I wasn’t exactly beautiful. I’d had my heart ripped out, I’d been lied to and I’d kissed quite a few frogs. I was not in a good place in my life…but I was trying my best to have fun. Then I received yet another private message from yet another guy who was going to tell me what a great guy he was. We chatted for a minute then agreed to exchange pictures. I sent mine expecting him to bail on our conversation. He sent his and I tried to download it but it caused my computer to crash so I told him I’d look at it in the morning and kind of blew him off thinking anyone who was still interested in me after seeing my picture can’t be too much to look at himself. But he was funny & something about him caught my attention. I told him I’d email him in the morning.

The next morning I tried to download his picture again & it worked. And there he was…my dream guy! And he already saw my picture & was interested! Holy cow…I needed to wrap this one up! I immediately fired off an email apologizing for cutting him short the night before & invited him to call me…which he did. On his break. During a frost delay. From a golf tournament. Yup…I was well aware of what I was getting into right from the get-go.

We talked every day for the next week and discovered we had been leading parallel lives. We grew up about 11 miles apart. We both had cottages outside of Gladwin (which was about 165 miles North of where we grew up), that were about 11 miles apart (in fact my parents almost bought a lot where his parents ended up building their cottage). We went to the same community college & he played college golf with my mom’s best friend’s son (the only person on the planet who knew both of us before we were married)! Keep in mind that when I met Tom, he had been living in Grand Rapids for about 10 years already. Given all this information & the fact that this just seemed to be destiny…I decided to drive out & spend the weekend with him. This was totally against my online dating rules & a decision that prompted my friends to warn that he was probably a psycho killer & they were certain they were going to find my head in a Burger King dumpster. His friends (I learned later) told him I was going to take him for everything he had (he owned his own home & had a very good job). Our decision to meet certainly met opposition from both sides.

Fast forward 6 months. We’d been dating long distance very successfully; we spent every other weekend (when I didn’t have the kids) in Grand Rapids and he would come stay with me in Clinton Twp on the other weekends he didn’t have a tournament scheduled for. He’d met the kids and most of my family as well. During a weekend of dog-sitting for my brother at his place in Clarkston, we sat one evening on a dock overlooking Mill Pond when he popped the question, “will you move in with me?” [thought bubble over my head: Um. Yah. I’m a newly divorced mother of 2 with a great job and you want me to just move to Grand Rapids]. I loved this man more than anything…but I wasn’t stupid. I made a case telling him there was no way I was moving my kids 160+ miles away & quitting my perfect job without some sort of commitment! In true Tom Werkmeister fashion, after giving it about 30 seconds of thought, he said, “Okay, do you want to get married then?”

We embarked on our union much the way we’ve made many of our important decisions it seems. With a lot of heart & very little brain. We had been talking about how he’d been to Vegas & I hadn’t and how neither of us wanted a big wedding…when it dawned on us. Let’s get married in Vegas! After a whirlwind year long courtship (6 months of dating followed by a 6 month engagement) we got married at The Little White Chapel with our parents, his brother and my 2 best girlfriends at the time there with us. It was perfect. He was perfect. We were perfect.

I’m sure over the past 20 years, especially the first few while the kids were young & my relationship with my ex was (at times) challenging, he wondered what he’d gotten himself into…who wouldn’t? He took on a family and a responsibility after only 1 year of consideration. I will admit that the first year was a challenge even for me. We both came into this marriage with baggage, but we have a weapon to battle through that is far greater than any challenge we faced; we are not just spouses, we are the bestest of friends (I don’t care that it’s not a word). We truly enjoy each other. We are different in a lot of areas; but we balance each other emotionally and compliment each other’s weaknesses with our respective strengths. He’s made me a better person in so many ways – he taught me to see the good in people instead of picking out their weaknesses and faults. He showed me that you can achieve anything through hard work & perseverance. He demonstrated an unconditional love that I thought was reserved for mothers or fathers. He is simply unwavering in his devotion and commitment to me. To us.

This man I married could not be loved by anyone like I love him. This was and is our love story. I look forward to the next 20 years…and I pray another 20 after that.

I hope you enjoyed our story…if you’re reading this then you’ve probably committed to watching Toms success on the golfcourse. My promise to you is to do everything in my power to make your investment in him worthwhile and to help him see his dreams come true. I have to. He’s made all of mine come true. ❤️