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Jul 20, 2015

In June, I went to the U.S golf Open with my husband for two days. It was at a place called Chambers Bay in Seattle in a very interesting location that overlooked the beautiful Puget Sound. Let me explain: the Puget Sound is an area on the coast where there are many islands. The golf course was built on an old sand and gravel(1) quarry. It is unusually dry compared to most U.S golf courses, but it has its own unique charm, and what a fabulous view of the ocean and the islands. We traveled to the golf course from Wenatchee with friends, and then split up(2), and walked around from 'hole' to hole. It was a hot day, and quite humid. There were crowds of golfing fans(3) everywhere, and funnily enough, a lot of them looked the same. Most of them were big men, in shorts, wearing baseball hats. I'm not a golfer, but I could certainly appreciate their excitement. It must have been a thrill for many of them to get close to the professionals. At one point, I came close to Ryo Ishikawa of Japan (well, I think it was him). His ball had gone off the green and was on a steep hillside. There was a huge crowd of people, squashed together trying to get as close as possible to him. Just before he took a swing at the ball, everyone went quiet, out of respect, and the ball went flying gently in a perfect arc, over a road and back onto the green. You could see the people around gasp(4) at his skill; shaking their heads they said things like, "That's why he's a professional and I'm not!"  I was amazed that the golfers could concentrate with so many fans around. They even had to hear trains going by the 16th and 17th greens: when the sand and gravel quarry was converted into the golf course, the very important train was not diverted. It still needs to go on its route along the coastline, carrying freight(5) and people. We sat down for a while and watched the golfers. Every now and then cheers and applause could be heard; it was quite relaxing, just looking out to sea, and hearing the sounds of the competition. We left the next day after buying some memorabilia, and decided on the way home, to definitely come back and visit the beautiful Puget Sound, with or without the golf.

1. 'Sand and gravel' usually both come from the same quarry, gravel being the very useful small, straight-edged rocks that are used for driveways and roads.

a. The car was speeding along the road, making the gravel fly in all directions.

b. You can always find sand and gravel at construction sites.

2. 'To split up' is used to mean 'to separate' temporarily and also permanently.

a. The couple argued all the time, and finally split up.

b. The hunters split up: two went up the hill to look for bears, and the other two went into the forest to hunt for deer.

3. 'Golfing fans'. In the podcast I said, "There were crowds of golfing fans every where'. However, I could have said, "golf fans". The reason I didn't is that "golf fans" is less clear because the two words become one orally. Similarly, 'to golf', 'golfing', and 'golf' can all be used correctly in sentences.

a. Do you like golf? to golf? golfing?

b. He is such a golf fan/ a fan of golf/ a golfing fan.

4. 'To gasp', 'a gasp'. It's a fabulous word. It's the noise someone makes when they suddenly breathe in out of surprize or shock.

a. She gasped in horror when she realized that she had left her passport in the taxi.

b. I gasped when I opened the door and found a huge bouquet of roses on the kitchen table.

5. 'Freight' is a noun and a verb. It refers to products, like metal, minerals, and even food that need to be transported by train, truck, ship, or plane. It has a similar meaning to 'cargo', 'merchandise', and 'goods', or as a verb, 'the sending of the goods.'

a. That is a freight train; today it is carrying sugar.

b. I ordered a table online, but the freight was so expensive.

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