October Golf In Michigan
If you’re not still playing golf in Michigan you really are missing some of the best rounds of the year.
Each round is a bit of a race. First, there’s the race against darkness. Days in October are getting dramatically shorter; long gone are midsummer’s finishes at 9 pm. By the end of October, the official sunset is 6:30, but I can play until closer to seven if there is no cloud cover.
The other race is against the season. Michigan weather in October is generally quite lovely. While at the beginning of the month, temperatures were still lurking close to eighty, by the end the daily high in the upper forties to mid-fifties. Trousers and a vest are the uniform of the day (and a hat, of course, for the October sun will burn your face as surely as in July).
At this point, snow will fly sooner rather than later.
There’s a lot to recommend late season golf in Michigan. I’ve found conditions to be terrific. The cooler air seems to agree with the grass, and because there are fewer players, it is not as beat up as in high summer.
Cooler weather seems to scare off the casual golfer, so pace of play picks up. No more waiting on every tee box for people playing from the tips who have no business doing so.
It’s also the best time of the year for walking. A brisk walk keeps me warm, but never enough to work up a drenching sweat.
The best part of Michigan golf in October, though are the colors. They’re simply spectacular.
On the down side, late season golfers must temper expectations. The ball is not going to go as far, so move up a tee. Expect your swing speed to be down as well.
And then there are the leaves. Washtenaw does a great job of keeping the fairways and rough clear, but even the most dedicated greenskeeper can’t do much about the ones that fall in the course of the day.
I always play a cheaper golf ball, knowing I’m going to lose a few in plain sight.
Now its off to November, when the big question is “when is the first snow?”