Up and out the door just before 5:00 am. Only three of us leaving from the school. We're a gang of eight total.
Two adults. Rui (she works for the school) and myself. I don't know her well, but I'm sure I'll get the chance in the next two days.
Two girls. Athena and YuChen. Athena is an 11th grade student. A serious player. YuChen is an 8th grader. She's never played in a tournament. I'm worried she's way in over her head. We'll see. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.
Four boys. Ronan is a 10th grader. He hasn't played in a tournament before. He has a lot of potential. I got to see him play last weekend when he joined a Athena and myself for a scramble. Leo is a 9th grader. Another serious player that has missed school to play in tournaments. Two 6th graders, Eason and Chris. Wild cards for now. They both tell me they've played in tournaments. We shall see. I'm not sure of the specifics. I think the two 6th graders play from forward tees in a separate tournament. I'll know more by noon.
This is really a different world. I'm getting on a plane and flying two hours with six kids to play in a golf tournament. Their parents are shelling out boatloads to send their kids to this tournament that's mostly just for fun. There's trophies and stuff, but really there's no expectations of serious competition, but it wouldn't shock me if Athena dominated the girls tournament. I don't know what to expect.
Off the plane and headed to the hotel in a bus. Super cramped seat on a domestic flight in China. Ronan wasn't thrilled getting stuck in the middle.
YuChen took this picture out the window during the flight. Super cool.
After we get settled into the hotel we will meet as a group and talk about expectations and our schedule. After that it's rest a bit and then to the golf course. Driving range, putt, and chip. Dinner with all the other teams at the course and we'll head back to the hotel for lights out by 10:00pm.
We had a change of plans. Had lunch at our hotel before heading to the course.
And then there was this served to our table...
So good. My first experience with actual Cantonese food. Down here in south China lots of people speak Cantonese as opposed to Mandarin. The Chinese food that we think of as "Chinese" is largely based on the food from this area due to the mass migration of people from this area to the states in the mid 19th century. Again, the meal was great, but I'm not going to get used to seeing my meals looking back at me anytime soon.
First impressions of the Palm Island Golf Resort? Channeling Borat.... Very niiiiice. But the practice area isn't the best. Their chipping and putting area has sections of dead grass and is under repair. About twenty stations to hit on the range, but it's not near enough for the number of players here as there are tons of adult members trying to get in a swings too.
Kids are having a good time. They have their pairings for tomorrow already and they're excited to play. We will head in for dinner soon and have some questions answered by the folks in charge. expect another detailed post tomorrow called ACAMIS Day 2.