Monday, January 15, 2007

True "winter golf" isn't for sissy-babies like me

Here in Southern California, winter golf just means possibly wearing long pants and a long sleeved shirt when we play. Maybe a light jacket. Since taking up golf a couple years ago, this became the number one reason I am glad to live here. A real rationalization for paying a premium for my mortgage and other costs of living. I can golf year round - comfortably. Usually.

I mean, it's January and a few days last week saw temperatures of 80 degrees. Circumstances have precluded my playing much golf this "winter," in fact it had been over a month since my last round. I was happy to get the chance to go out and play this past Saturday in my club's first tournament of the season. But the 80 degree weather was long gone! In fact, when I arrived for my teetime it was half that. That's right - 40 freaking degrees plus a cold wind. People were out there in ski hats and mothballed sweaters. I wore a turtleneck under my golf shirt plus a jacket and I was still freezing. I actually wore a scarf around my face and ears a lot of the time. I kept my golf glove on even while putting and put a glove on my right hand in between shots. Some folks had on long-johns which they said helped keep them warm. I don't own any long-johns. My ass was numb by the end of the round.

They actually predicted snow here - SNOW! Had there been any precipitation with this cold snap, it certainly would have been of the flaky variety. Come on, this is Southern California. This ain't right.

Like I said, I hadn't played in awhile and couldn't arrive early enough to hit any warm-up balls in advance of the round. I was so stiff I could barely complete a full backswing, and it kind of hurt. I hit the snack shack on #2 where I picked up a hot cocoa and a bottle of Jack Daniels - you know the little airplane/minibar sized bottles that make you feel like a giant. That warmed and loosened me up right quick! I birdied #3 with authority and almost birdied #4 but tapped in for par. That was the highlight of my round. I just couldn't stay warm or focused.

There was a two-club wind that swirled around and refused to be predicted. I don't think I was the only one who couldn't get over the fact that it was this freakin' cold. The last few holes were in the shade and it was getting close to dusk so the temperature dropped even further. I could see and hear the chattering teeth of one of the guys in my foursome.

Too many double bogeys later, I ended up shooting 96 for a net 78 (on a par 70 course!), which was surprisingly the second best score in my group. Greg, who has a handicap 5 points lower than mine, shot a 97. The winner of A-flight shot a net 2-over, so I guess that means we're all a bunch of sissy-babies out here.

At least I won 20 clams for claiming the long drive victory. They had me playing the forward tees so I had a big advantage, but I didn't feel too bad about it because the guy I out drove to put my name on the card was behind me by more than the difference in the tees. Most people didn't keep it in the fairway.

Next post.


John Drennen said...

It looks like someone needs to invest in some winter golf clothes

Greg said...

I prefer winter golf here in Houston. Of course, being from Wisconsin...

Last night I called my buddies and actually had a discussion about playing with one of them (Martin is a retired butcher - worked in a freezer for 20 years). The temps were low 30s and the wind was 20-30 out of the north. In the end, we decided it wouldn't be much fun mainly because there was on and off drizzle.

One of the best things about golfing in the cold in Texas is that you generally have the course to yourself :)


Patricia said...

Sounds like you played really well despite the weather. As far as making cold weather golf more enjoyable, The booze helped I'm sure...it always does...and Under Armour makes some great layering pieces that are ultra comfortable. Hopefully though, CA will be back to its old self pretty soon. ;0}

Golfchick said...

John - you might be right.

Greg - those sound like the conditions we just had! Brr... no thanks, you can keep the winter golf! :P


Thanks for the tip on the warm golf clothes. I hope to not need them but I might have to give in and get some just in case.

As for how I scored, it was a really bad round for me. I'm not usually so far over my handicap, especially in competitive situations. But if by playing well you mean having fun despite the weather, I sure tried! I'd have preferred some baileys and coffee but they didn't have it. I made do with the JD. :)

Scott said...

AMEN, Sister!

I played Sunset Hills on Sunday, and looked like the Michelin Tire Man, I had so many clothes on....

And to think that everyone was whining about "It doesn't feel like Christmas" back when it was 78 and sunny every day....

C'mon SUMMER!!!