#Chat It Up welcomes Scott from Grits and Golf

Hi Y'all.  Welcome to #Chat It Up

I‘m a big believer in making your dreams come true and I absolutely love listening to the stories about how others made that happen. The journey to aspire is never dull. It doesn’t matter what the dream is. It could be something simple such as being a good cook (ok, that’s not entirely simple) or really encompassing like being the President of the United States. Either way, #Chat It Up is a place to share such dreams and adventures.

Today my guest is:  Scott from Grits and Golf. He’s here to talk about his dream and to introduce his new blog.

(In an act of full disclosure you all should know that Scott and I go back. WAY back. Like to the golden days of high school and a little white mouse, a psychology project, named Axl).

Hi Scott. Welcome to #Chat It Up. Tell us a little about yourself. 

Dead sexy Brad Pitt look-alike.  Seriously, I get asked all of the time how loony Angelina really is, and if I’m really happy being married to her.  If the woman asking me this is good-looking, I usually say, “No.”

Kidding, of course.  I am a happily married father of two pre-teen baseball-crazy sons.  I am a native Floridian (6th-generation) that now lives in North Texas.

I am a University of Florida grad that actually considered himself worthy of joining the Gator Men’s Golf Team as a walk-on.  What folly that was…still, I’ve been around golf for almost thirty years: my dad was a well-known player in Central Florida in the 1960s and 1970s, and I started playing because I knew how painful it was for him to watch me fail at play baseball.

Golf has continued to play a central theme in my life. I met my wife on a golf course, I used to spend many hours every summer on a golf course with my own sons when we lived in Florida, and golf has given me so much that I am thankful for…lasting friendships, successes, great memories, and repeated episodes of character-building exercises.

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2.     You’re a roots guy. You grew up in Lakeland, FL and left when you went to UF but then you went back to Lakeland. It’s your cornerstone. What made you take that leap to move your family out of Florida and to venture into Texas, which IMO gives a whole new perspective on ‘living in the south’.

After 40 years of living in Tamlando (or “Orlampa,” if you’re from the east side of Polk County), I finally decided that I was ready for an adventure.  I never wanted to be one of those people that lived and died in the same place where he was born…how can you have any opinion about how the world should be, or what’s right or wrong, when you’ve never lived anywhere but one place?  I wanted to experience life, and do something that was considered by some “shocking,” and in a way, something that would make my wife and I more dependent on each other (not in a clingy way).  Plus, it was an answer to prayer; my wife had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom when our kids were younger, but the Central Florida economy necessitated a return to work for her. Taking the job that I currently have and moving to North Texas gave her the opportunity to return to that role.

  3.     As a writer many people want to know about my journey and if I’ve always dreamt of writing. To your very core- you’re a golfer. It’s one way I would’ve defined you. Tell us about how you came to be that way- about that journey.

Really, more than anything, I just wanted my dad to be proud of me, and to do something that we could do together.  I absolutely was an athletic failure in soccer and baseball, and my dad spent a LOT of time playing golf in my younger years.  My grandfather also played quite a bit (my first memories of golf involve riding in a cart with my Granddaddy Fields on Wednesday afternoons in his weekly match at the local municipal course).  Every summer when we’d visit my Granddaddy’s family, they’d play golf.  It just seemed like a natural fit.

I loved golf from the start: not having to depend on a teammate to make a play, the solitary nature of it (I grew up a de facto “only child” in a virtually childless neighborhood), the endless repetition, and the fact that I could use the vacant side lots next to my house and across the street as my personal driving range were all factors that made golf the natural sport for me.

Still, I think my mom tried to keep me away from that wicked game as long as she could.  She had me heavily involved in the Southern Baptist church from my childhood days: when the doors were open, we were there.  I sang in the choir, I was active in the youth group…and then golf happened.  No more choir or youth group.  My mom was sure that I was on the fast track to Hell.  Before golf, though, if I wanted to skip church or Wednesday night meeting, my dad would side with my mom to get me out of the house.  After golf happened, he started siding with me.  Winning.

4. So on to the important stuff… What super power would you have?

I would fly.  It would be awesome.  One of my favorite things about what I do for a living now is that I get to fly. I love watching the world pass by below me.  I love the idea that before modern times, if you wanted to travel from Central Florida to North Texas, it would take you days at sea and overland travel; before the railroads, it would take weeks.  To get from, say, NYC to California would take months…now, in the length of time it takes me to watch “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Braveheart,” I can travel the same distance.

5.     Who is the sexiest female super hero? 

Anne Hathaway’s “Catwoman.” She could scratch me anytime!!

6.     What defines a romantic date (from a guy's perspective).  It’s ok, you can say sex.

 Sex is the ultimate end goal for a man, I think (I would hope that it would be a woman’s goal, too, but I’m not sure). Really good sex, too, not just the “fumbling around at midnight because one of us is in the mood, but the other would rather watch TV.”  Mind-blowing sex (which I am happy to say is still possible after 20 years of being together), loud & wet sex, the kind of love-making that lasts for a very long time (because anything worth doing well is worth doing for a long time), that makes you look at each other and smile the next morning because you know what just happened a few hours before…the kind that you daydream about for hours leading up to the date, imaging all of the possibilities.

Where were we?  Oh, yeah, the romantic date…you know, in this season of my life, I can’t think of a single date type that fits this bill.  My wife and I still try to date, or as another way of putting it, still try to make an effort to look good/smell good for the other for the sake of going out and being seen with each other in public.  What we end up doing varies: sometimes tapas and drinks, followed by a movie…sometimes a nice dinner and a stroll around the local square, holding hands, until we find a bench where we can sit and make out…when we still lived in Florida, maybe an overnight trip to St. Pete Beach that involved an afternoon of beer and me looking at her bikini-clad body, followed by dinner and drinks at the Hurricane, then a moonlit stroll down the beach before making our way back to our hotel room.  Another great night was when we drove to Hallandale Beach to soak up some rays, hit the YardHouse and the Playwright Irish Pub (two great places in Gulfstream Park), and then went to SunLife Stadium to see the Larry Mullen, Jr., Band (also known as “U2,” the greatest band ever).  I’m pretty sure that that date culminated in a lot of sex…my wife has a thing for Bono.

So, what defines a romantic date?  Well, it helps to have someone with you whose company you enjoy, and whom you can’t get enough of.  It helps to sit close to each other, or at least touch each other throughout dinner…when leaving, holding hands and walking close…and when you find that perfect place under the stars, you kiss your date. And, as a Southern gentleman, I always open and hold every door, pull out every chair, and make sure that almost all the lights are turned off when she finally gets completely naked.

7.  What piece of technology can you not live without?

Tough one…I was going to say my iPhone, but you know, I think Wi-Fi runs a close second.  If you want to see a business traveler get ticked off, cut off the Wi-Fi!

8.  Why Grits and Golf?

Growing up Southern (native Floridian, with lots of family in south Georgia and North Carolina), grits were ubiquitous with down-home cuisine.  It’s hard to mess up grits, and there are two basic kinds: plate grits (usually what you have with cheese at a fish-fry), and bowl grits. Grits go with just about everything, and you can add anything to them.  Each Southern town and city will have its own take on grits (i.e., Charleston’s bacon & shrimp grits), as will most families.  Furthermore, it’s just something (like sweet tea, NASCAR, country music, and Lynyrd Skynyrd) that Yankee folk don’t understand.  We may have lost the War for Southern Independence, but we kept our grits…it’s part of who we are in the South, and no matter how urban and modern we get, grits will always be with us.  It’s comfort food for turbulent times.  It reminds us that no matter how busy we get, it’s best to go real slow sometimes.

And golf…well, golf has defined me for many years.  God has used golf to show me so much about myself and other people…who can be trusted, and who’s a cheat?  Who will call a penalty on himself for an infraction that no one else saw, and who will kick a ball out of the woods when no one’s looking?  It is humbling, but incredibly fun to play.  It calls for constant self-improvement, but one can become obsessed by it.  Also in golf, any player can, at some point, play the same courses that the best in the world have played; I can play Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black, Pinehurst, St. Andrews…and I can play in the same tournaments with the pros if I’m good enough and can qualify.  I would be arrested if I tried to go play a pick-up basketball game in the Staples Center, or tried to walk on the field for a tag football game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.  Above all, in golf, the playing field is level…a guy like me can have a match with a PGA Tour player, and thanks to golf’s “handicap” system, the match can be played on equal footing.  In golf, we’re all equal.

Scott

o~o^^^^^^^^^^^^______________/

\__/   Go Gators!!

 

 

Thanks to Scott for being the first on #Chat It Up and for being so candid and honest. You should check out his blog, Grits and Golf. It’s funny, down to earth, and heartwarming. As a romance writer, I’m always searching for ways to authentically capture the “male psyche” and most of my guy friends provide food for fodder. Scott’s site is a cash cow for me 🙂.

 

Thanks for visiting my new site and spending time with Scott. I’ll see ya here again next week. Have a good one. Don't forget- Keep Moving Forward.

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