A few weeks ago, I booked my flight to Portland, Oregon, to attend the annual Oregon Healthcare Association conference. While booking my flight online, I remember looking at the potential Sunday flights out of Milwaukee and thinking to myself that the 6 am would be brutal, and decided to instead go with a friendlier flight time in the afternoon.
Somewhere in this process, it turns out I selected the 6 am flight. I realized that on Thursday, and quickly called the airline to ask about changing my flights. I will not have access to a hotel room at 10 am, and have no work responsibilities until early Monday morning. The lady on the phone told me it would cost $50, to which I brought up the extra $11 I paid for travel insurance. “That only counts if there is a death or serious illness,” she told me. Out of principle, I told her I disagree with this business rule and cannot imagine it will cost the airline $50 to hit a couple of keys to change a flight a month and a half away. I was not going to give them another $50 for it, even though it was obviously my mistake.
I hung up the phone in semi-frustration, and vented about airlines to a friend whose desk is across from mine. “Paul, Portland is an awesome city, why don’t you just find something to do on Sunday?”
Light bulbs went off as I realized I have never played a round of golf in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. So later that day I went on GolfOregon.com for some ideas on courses to play in the Portland area, and came up with this gem: Pumpkin Ridge.
Pumpkin Ridge is the annual host to the LPGA’s Safeway Classic, which starts this year on Monday, August 13. It has also played host to Nike Tour Championships, US Women’s Open Championships, US Women’s Amateur Championships, US Junior Amateur Championships, US Girls’ Junior Amateur Championships, and US Amateur Championships – the most recognizable of which was in 1996 when Tiger Woods won his unprecedented third straight US Amateur.
So I called their PGA Head Golf Professional and explained my situation and desire to play their course, and now have a tee time to play Ghost Creek, which opened in 1992 as Golf Digest’s “Best New Public Course in the United States” (it is also the course played for the Safeway Classic, which I am sure you will see some of on the Golf Channel this week).
Needless to say, I am now pretty excited about my subconscious decision to take the 6 am flight to Portland!