Gulf Revisited – 2011

Trying to Recover Dormant Golf Swing


May 10 – 19, 2011


Part 1: Memphis to Trapp Farm

Part 6: So-So Golf for Birthday Boy

Part 2: Trapp Farm to Gulf Shores, AL

Part 7: Score of ‘59’ beats golfer’s age

Part 3: Golf Practice at Gulf State Park

Part 8: Upgrading Library Privileges

Part 4: Shopping at  Big Box stores

Part 9: Gulf Shores to Pearl, MS

Part 5: Condo Owners Meeting

Part 10: Drive to home in Memphis


- Updated June 2, 2011


Several photos of the interior of our condo at Gulf Village, Ala., are posted on the website of our property manager, Kaiser Realty, which also has pix of the exterior of the complex as well as area beach shots. There are additional pix mainly taken by Betty Nolan during our trips to the area in recent years. They are posted at in various albums registered under Lewis “Buzz” Nolan’s email address. Email for instructions how to access the Kaiser pictures and also the Nolan pictures.




May 12, 2011 – Thursday – In condo on beach at Gulf Shores, Ala.


Betty and I arose about 7:40 a.m. in our one-bedroom condo on West Beach at Gulf Shores, Ala., after a good night’s sleep.


After yet another of her delicious breakfasts of cooked ham and eggs, we drove in her Ford Focus station wagon to the Municipal Library to check our Internet accounts for messages. She used her Acer netbook computer to access the Library Wi-Fi signal. I used a public PC at no charge. From the Library we drove a few miles to the nearby golf course practice range at the State Park so I could hit some golf balls and do some extensive work on my long-neglected  swing.


I luckily was among the earlier vacationers to arrive at the practice tee and found 35 or more unused range balls in several piles on the elevated, tee-off area. That saved me the expense of using one of my saved “tokens” I had purchased on previous trips for a bucket of practice balls.


Evidently another player had run out of time (or maybe muscle strength) or was hitting so well that he or she didn’t need to use the entire bucket. I was not surprised at my inability to hit balls straight and reasonably far. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to play golf since the onset of a brain aneurysm at Gulf Shores five years ago that required nine, separate brain surgeries and many months of recovery.


While I had several clubs with me, I mainly used my trusty 8-iron because its lofted angle generally permits me to hit rather short but high shots. However, most of my practice shots on this day merely dribbled off the elevated tee and down range a few dozen yards. I reflected on quickly we sometimes lose what little skills that had taken to long to develop. But my plan is to start re-learning the golf skills I once had while on this trip.

While I hit balls, Betty drove to a nearby Wal-Mart store to do some shopping. With tired arms and well-exercised back muscles, I soon ran out of practice balls. Rather than buy another bucket, I opted to walk down a shaded pathway of overhanging oak trees to the golf course snack bar about 50 yards away.


Betty returned in a little while and we had a nice lunch of BLT sandwiches cooked to order by the very nice ladies we had gotten to know during our visits here for more than 20 years. Several of the golf shop snack bar employees were natives of Korea. They had married American servicemen stationed in Korea many years ago. The ladies are excellent cooks of simple sandwiches and keep the beer and soft drinks cold, snack bar remarkably orderly and always spic-and-span, despite the sometimes heavy crush of visiting golfers in season.


After a tasty lunch of BLT sandwiches topped by splitting a bag of seldom-enjoyed, thick potato chips cooked in a kettle, I was a little tired and sleepy. We drove back to our condo a few miles down the beach so I could take the customary, afternoon nap I’ve grown to expect and enjoy since my brain surgeries. Per her custom, Betty took advantage of the spring sunshine to sit in a chaise lounge chair near the surf line on the beach in front of our condo complex.


A casual visitor would never know that just a few months ago the beach was dotted with palm-sized bits of oil spilled from a deep well operated by BP petroleum. The well mysteriously exploded more than 4,000 feet below the surface of the ocean and a small army of volunteers working at BP’s expense had managed to do a great job of cleaning up the beach and other areas stained by thick pollution of crude oil.


We were among property owners along the Gulf Coast who got a couple of checks from the multi-million dollar funds BP had paid the government to compensate for damages and the loss of income to tourist industries. But in our case, the “make-good payments” didn’t come close to fully compensating us for our loss of income to pay the fixed costs of owning and operating beach rental property when tourists stopped coming to the beach on vacation.


 (Continue with Part 4 of this trip.  /  Return to Nolan Travels Home Page.)