You know when you go out for after-work drinks with a bunch of co-workers — I guess in my case, it’d be colleagues — and you feel embarrassed the next day because you had a few too many vodka sodas and probably said some things you shouldn’t have? Yeah. (Hope everything was off-the-record.) That’s how I feel today after Christina Kim and Alan Shipnuck’s book party at Chelsea Piers, where the golf media (and others) in the greater NYC area gathered to celebrate Swinging from My Heels last night.
I had a much better time than expected. I mean, everyone knows how crazy golf people can get! Kidding, guys. I’ll be honest — I was a little tentative going into it because I felt like it was going to be painful schmoozing with people I should try to impress. (Did I pass?) Naturally, I got there right at 7 to hit up the open bar. Amazing what a dozen vodka sodas can do to loosen those inhibitions. (Kidding, again. It was more like eight.) But actually, perhaps the people I met are more nervous about what I’m going to disclose — yes, I’m looking at you, Ryan Reiterman, Jeff Ritter and Omar Sharif from SI.com/Golf.com. Lucky for them, I’m in a charitable mood. Or they were just very nice and I had a great time hanging out with them for the second half of the evening.
Anyway! I walked into the Ryder Cup Room at Chelsea Piers, where about half a dozen middle-aged white dudes were awkwardly making small talk. (Alan had informed me via text that would be the scene. My response? “YES! My favorite. Duh.”) The back of the room opened up to the driving range, where five spots were reserved for people to show off their skills.
Once the party was kicking, Christina Kim, wearing six-inch Rene Caovilla heels, marched up to a stall and showed everyone up by hitting some drives. I got some footage of it, but Golf Digest’s Ashley Mayo has a better video here. And before you ask, yes, that’s my voice in the background, saying “That’s impressive” three times. It was impressive. I hit a few balls later, but opted to go barefoot.
Alan and Christina gave a nice speech, explaining the process of writing the book, which was via phone calls. When Alan handed Christina the mic to open up, she was actually speechless. Shocking, right? “Thanks to my parents for having me. I don’t know what to say. I just thought I was here to drink.” And that’s why we love her.
Oh, Michelle Wie popped by for a bit. She was wearing some pretty cool flower rain boots. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to meet her and tell her people have been asking me if we’re related since I was a sophomore in college.
I stuck around until the party ended because Alan had informed me there would be some after-party. Because some people (no names, they know who they are) had to caravan back out to the ‘burbs, it was just me, Alan, his lovely wife Frances, Ryan, Jeff, Omar and a few of Alan’s family members. We gathered for more drinks and dinner in the restaurant next door. When we’d finished eating our burgers, a waiter brought out a slice of cake with a candle, which was when I discovered it’s Alan’s birthday on Thursday. Happy Birthday, Alan!
Thanks to the Shipnucks, Christina and Bloomsbury for hosting a wonderful evening. I think I made some new friends. To avoid more shameless name-dropping, it was great to see and chat with everyone.
Update: Moved the video interview to separate post.