Happiest tees

Photo by Steve Martaindale

After spending more than three weeks this winter mooching living space from overly gracious cousins in Valencia, Spain, Leah and I relocated to Mallorca, a Mediterranean island a short distance away, for our final week in Europe.

As is often our style, we landed there with no real plans other than to see what we could see, but even that laidback itinerary eased as soon as we arrived. We found ourselves simply wanting to chill a bit. And then, while walking around the resort, we saw the sign pictured above. Now, even two months later, we try to remember to play our happiest tees.

Uh … what?

OK, a quick explainer for those who do not understand the sign.

On a golf course, each hole ends at the same spot, the green, where the destination cup resides. The golfer’s objective is to put the ball in the hole. But you knew that.

What might be unfamiliar to some people is that each hole has multiple starting points – or tees. It’s common to have at least three, usually labeled “women,” “men” and “pro.” They get progressively longer and, in some cases, more challenging.

Finally, there can easily be some pressure applied, or at least imagined, to play the longer tees, to take on a bigger challenge. Someone who accepts that pressure and sees a worse score because of it might not be having as much fun.

And this golf course, much to its credit, is encouraging its guests to have a good time and not worry so much about the score.

Don’t get teed off

One last comment.

It was the second or third time we walked by the sign that Leah pointed out it was only in English. Because this island receives planeloads of German travelers every day, most signs are in Spanish, English and German, but definitely in Spanish.

So, why is this only in English? Spend some time in Spain and it might appear obvious. Residents here lead a much slower life. Many businesses really do close during the afternoon for a couple of hours. People spend time enjoying their meals and their fellow diners. It’s not perfect, but the concept of playing the happiest tees seems to be par for the course.


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