RIDGEDALE, Mo. — There is no better way to spend the day off then at the golf course.
“I can get around a little bit easier now,” Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield said. “I don’t have to plug everything into my GPS so it’s starting to get a little more comfortable.”
Some Kansas City Royals spent their off-day Monday back in the Ozarks, playing a few rounds of golf at Big Cedar Lodge.
The day started with 19 holes at Payne’s Valley.
“It’s hard to explain, I mean Payne’s Valley itself is one of my favorite courses that I have ever played,” Merrifield said. “I have been fortunate enough to play some cool places and it ranks up there with the likes of Pebble Beach and Peach Tree. It’s just an incredible, incredible golf course. To top it off with the 19th hole is pretty special.”
“I think I got Ben(intendi). So I got that and then I luckily made the birdie putt,” Royals third baseman Bobby Witt Jr. said. “The golf game wasn’t great today, but it was great on the 19th hole.”
It’s the second straight year an octad of Crowns have made it to Big Cedar, Whit Merrifield holding the role as organizer.
“About a week or so before we start making plans they are smushing up to me trying to be real nice to me, about the nicest that guys are to me throughout the course of the year,” Merrifield said. “Guys love coming out here and as we continue to do this it’s going to get more and more popular and guys are going to be begging to come out here.”
Among those making the trip with Merrifield are Andrew Benintendi, Brad Keller, Cam Gallagher, Ryan O’Hearn, Scott Barlow, Kyle Isbel and rookie Bobby Witt Jr.
“I don’t know. I just got lucky I guess,” Witt Jr. said about being a rookie invitee. “It’s awesome. Whit invited me and once he did I was all in. I’m so glad that I got to do this and got the opportunity.”
Now that the golf here at Big Cedar is in the books, the attention shifts back to baseball and a lot of it. The Royals only have four other off days from now until the end of May.
That includes leaving the state of Missouri for the first time this season, traveling to Seattle this weekend.
“The good part about this time of year is things can turn on a dime,” Merrifield said. “I mean, it’s such an early part of the year that things can shift so quickly and it’s exciting.”
“Right now I am already itching to get back on the field,” Witt Jr said. “It’s good for everyone to kind of get this moment, but then it’s also good to get back going.”