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Given that this is the week before the British Open, it would make sense to provide a preview of what's to come at Troon. You know, penetrating insights about the contenders, cogent analysis of the how the course will play, and rhapsodic paeans to the mercurial nature of the Scottish gales. I think I'll leave that kind of stuff to Gary Van Sickle. Instead, below is my to-do list before departing for Scotland. Wish me luck.
Schedule angioplasty for the day after the tournament ends. A week of those damn Scottish breakfasts and my arteries look like they've been borrowed from Kevin Stadler.
Dig out my albums by The Streets, so as to bone up on proper usage of geezers, birds, wankers, etc.
Up my life insurance, owing to all those blokes driving on the wrong side of the road.
Organize various confirmation letters for my assorted golf adventures. To beat jet lag, the day after I arrive I have lined up a double dip at Western Gailes and Turnberry. Also on the itinerary are Prestwick and a sacred pilgrimage to Machrihanish. I have to be coy about the timing of these rounds, because they may or may not fall during the tournament proper, forcing me to play hooky, and my crusty old editor may or may not be reading this column.
Try to get excited about a cavity search at Heathrow. Eight freaking years ago I played in the King Hassan Golf Trophy in Morocco, and that little stamp in my passport always brings unwanted attention when I fly through London. Then again, last time my interrogator was a lovely bird with a killer accent ...
Pack my Ziplock full of Euro phone cords and AC adapters. Of course, none of them will work, forcing me to file my story via Morse code.
Take a hot shower, sit in the sun, drink a cold beer, eat a good hamburger. None of these comforts will be available in Scotland.
Try to lose the perma-smile, especially when bidding adieu to my beloved family. The best tournament of the year is upon us, and I can't wait to get there ...
Senior writer Alan Shipnuck has covered golf for Sports Illustrated since 1994 and frequently contributes to SI.com.