Winter Is Coming

With the school year back in full swing, my golf is largely reduced to quick nines on the way home from work. And yet, if anything these rounds seem so much more vital than those at the height of summer. Fall is returning, the leaves are turning and in Michigan winter and snow can come crashing down at any moment. So with each round I play, it feels as though I have stolen yet another long march on my enemy Old Man Winter.

The tragedy of all this is that it is invariably in the fall when I begin to play my best golf. Today, I hit fairways and greens and putted with the casual air of knowing that the ball would trace a line of its own accord to the hole. I was relaxed and confident and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

On rounds such as these, I try not to think of what lies ahead, but as I write and reflect compulsively, there’s no room for deception. As I write this in my notebook, I’m sitting on a bench on the seventeenth, waiting for the twosome ahead and I notice several trees that have lost their summer green. The temperature is in the sixties. The signs are there. Soon the flurries will fly and I’ll face another long winter dark.

I had better enjoy the golf while I can.

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8 thoughts on “Winter Is Coming”

  1. The change of golf seasons makes living in Florida ir Arizona less attractive when you consider fall golf. A northern climate does have some advantages.

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  2. Wow. That was a little depressing because I realize as well that the golf season is changing. Fortunately, Atlanta has pretty decent year round golf. The courses are not in their prime but we can get out juuuust about year round. The next event I am looking forward to is The Tour Championship at East Lake. My best friend played at UM and said it was a huge adaptation during this season of the year.

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  3. The weather is certainly changing.  Last week was dry – this week the rain started on Tuesday and won’t let up until Saturday at the earliest.  9am on Saturday is a big tournament where the prize is a trip to compete in Florida.  It is going to be slop, slop, sloppy.  I haven’t played in conditions like this since April or so, and I am not looking forward to it. 

    As for winter, it may be rough even in Memphis.  We have just had the mildest summer I ever remember, and that is including when I lived in Columbus and Denver.  I am thinking that winter is going to be harsh for us.

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  4. Why is it that often golf becomes less of a challenge in the fall for me, too? Could it be that during the height of the season, I put extra demands or focus on myself to improve, while during the later part of the year, that self-imposed pressure dissipates and is replaced with the goal of just enjoying what is left of the time spent outdoors with friends and the property where so many battles were waged?

    Maybe there is less focus on results which free things up in a way that smooths out some hitch or extra move.

    I think that maybe it is easier to enjoy and just think of one shot at a time in the fall, knowing their is an end coming.

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  5. I’m a total and complete hack when it comes to my golf game. I also prefer winter (snowboarding and skiing) to summer.

    That said, there’s something quite enjoyable about playing golf in the fall. I wouldn’t call it “cheating old man winter,” but there is something to it like getting away with something you shouldn’t be able to enjoy.

    It’s also good that the temperatures have dropped and you’re not literally sweating it out on every round. Add in the show from the trees and fall is a great time for golf—probably my favorite.

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  6. I also live in GA, and we love fall golf for different reasons.  We do not have to change shirts after 9, you can begin to walk again without fear of heat stroke, and all the idiots at the UGA games clears the course for us on Saturday afternoons.  Yes, we love fall golf around here, too!

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  7. Fall is indeed a special time for golf.  The course usually belongs to you.  The weather is cool and many days the sun still offers warmth.  The color in the trees contrasts wonderfully with the green of the fairways.  Fall is the end of the golf season in Michigan, but with just a small bit of invention it becomes the culmination of a period of sharing good friends and natural beauty.  And then we can welcome spring again.
    Tom

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