I think that the best times to play golf are on the bookends of a day: either at first light, or as the sun is going down. The courses are less crowded, the air is cooler, and everything seems a little more peaceful.
These days, Washtenaw Golf Club is my home course, and my go-to when I’m not off “collecting” another new course for review. GolfBlogger World Headquarters is less than a mile away from Washtenaw, so it’s perfect. I don’t have to get up extra early to accommodate a dawn tee time, and I don’t have far to drive after a late finish.
This past Thursday, I arrived at Washtenaw before the sun was properly up and the moon still had not set. Luna was full and loomed larger than my camera is capable of capturing. It was actually pretty spectacular.
I was first off the tee — as I often am — and walked around at a nice clip. With no one in front to wait on, it’s easy to get into a rhythm.
One downside to a round at dawn is that the grass is dewy. Balls don’t roll out as far, leaving a rooster tail of spray behind them. Greens are much slower than they will be later in the day, especially if — as is often the case — they have yet to be mowed. Wet rough just multiplies the problems.
The biggest problem with the dew though, is that soaks the feet. Dew is like rain from the ground up. Even supposedly waterproof shoes are not immune. Pro tip: wear wool hiking socks, such as those from Smartwool.
And yet, a dawn round is a great way to start a day. I generally am finished by ten, and still have many hours left to finish whatever more constructive projects I have scheduled for the day.
After playing a round of golf, I’m in the right mind frame to get things done.
Dewy grass isn’t the problem in the evening. Darkness is.
As the sun sets, shadows get longer and each new minute offers a little less light. On Sunday night, I played my last two holes when it was dark enough that I switched from my usual Vice Pro to a yellow Bridgestone RX to ensure that I could find the ball.
Photos don’t do justice to how dark it was. The camera’s sensor collects enough light to offer clarity, when in fact it definitely was lacking. Under the last few desperate moments of light, balls disappear quickly in the sky. Breaks in the greens are invisible.
And yet, there still is something wonderful about finishing a round in near dark.
An evening round is a great way to relieve the cumulative stress of a day. An evening walk is just what the Doctor ordered.
Golf On The Bookends Of The Day was first published on GolfBlogger.Com on September 7, 2020