My Pri­vate Jet on Land

Don’t laugh: A golfer’s life of lux­ury in a mini­van

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life - By david owen

wind­shield and the de­froster. More re­cently, it oc­curred to me that a mini­van is also, po­ten­tially, a sexy car. In the eyes of an at­trac­tive young woman (I’m guess­ing), a mid­dle-age guy in a race­car is just an­other self-in­dul­gent ar­rested-de­vel­op­ment case, whereas the same guy in a mini­van looks like a sen­si­tive non-weasel who might be will­ing to drive her kids to soc­cer prac­tice. Sparks!

I men­tioned these thoughts to a pub­li­cist at Chrysler, and she of­fered to lend me a 2016 Town & Coun­try Lim­ited. When it ar­rived, I trans­ferred all my golf gear into it, from the boot, back seat and floor of my cur­rent car, plus some over­flow from my garage. I had no trou­ble neatly stow­ing ev­ery­thing with­out pil­ing any­thing on a seat – a per­sonal first.The in­te­rior is filled with hooks, hang­ers, draw­ers, com­part­ments and gen­tly il­lu­mi­nated re­cesses. All those fea­tures were de­signed to hold things like ex­tra nap­pies and gro­cery bags, but they’re also great for or­gan­is­ing gol­fre­lated odds and ends. By the time I was fin­ished, I had trans­formed my loaner into a be­spoke rolling locker room.

Dur­ing my road test, the closely mowed ar­eas in my part of the coun­try were all cov­ered with snow, so play­ing golf was out of the ques­tion. But two of my bud­dies and I had in­vited our wives out for din­ner and a col­lege hockey game in a town an hour away, and I of­fered to drive ev­ery­one.

The round trip ended up be­ing the high­light of the evening, be­cause the mini­van is even bet­ter at trans­port­ing grown-ups than it is at trans­port­ing kids: The seats are as com­fort­able as La-Z-Boys, there are beer-and-cock­tail hold­ers ev­ery­where, and each of the two back rows has a ceil­ing-mounted drop-down video screen – on which, if the laugh­ter had ever lagged, we could have shown our wives DVDs of our golf swings.The ride was smooth, the vis­i­bil­ity was awe­some and the slid­ing doors opened and closed by them­selves.The am­bi­ence was less that of a fam­ily car than of a small pri­vate jet.

Later this year, Chrysler will be­gin sell­ing an awe­somely “reimag­ined” mini­van, called the Paci­fica. Among its nu­mer­ous golf-adapt­able op­tions will be a built-in vac­uum cleaner with a re­tractable hose and a bag-drop-friendly tail­gate that opens when you wave a foot un­der the bumper. Not long ago, one of the thir­tysome­thing guys in my reg­u­lar Sun­day group com­plained that his wife had told him she was tired of cram­ming their chil­dren and all their crap into just an SUV, and that she wanted to swap it for a mini­van. He was try­ing to talk her out of it, but I told him he was nuts. “Your kids won’t be lit­tle for­ever,” I said, “and as soon as they’re out of the way that baby could be yours.”

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