This time of year, golfers in Michigan are engaged in the annual anticipation of hopeful, watchful waiting: watching the weather report on a daily—even hourly basis—and hoping for signs of spring. Ten day forecasts become objects of religious scrutiny. Debates break out over the relative merits of Wunderground.Com versus Weather.Com. Plans are made, then set aside, only to be made again.
Thus far, things have not been terribly hopeful. It has been as long and as cold a winter as we have had in several years, and snow continues to fall. At this moment, there’s none on the ground near GolfBlogger World Headquarters in Ann Arbor, but it still is in the air. Literally.
Still, there are signs. Courses in Southern Michigan are sending out emails announcing that they are opening for business this weekend. I haven’t been by my favorite track—Green Oaks—but I’m sure they will open by next week. My golf league begins April 12, assuming there’s no snow on the grond.
This brings me to the second protocol: managing expectations.
Cool—even cold—weather is the order of the day. Dedicated Michigan golfers know to stuff their bags with an extra sweatshirt and a stocking cap. In the summer I regularly play sans gloves, but don winter gloves in the spring (lest I fall afoul of another bout of frostbite)
Further, having been buried in snow and frozen lo these many months, conditions are sketchy. Shady areas will still have ice and perhaps snow. Low-lying, thawed areas often are seas of mud. You will get absolutely no roll on a drive.
But it is golf, and with the first tee shot comes the promise of better days ahead.