Winter golf is actually not as bad as it sounds. If the skies are clear and there is no wind, then even freezing temperatures are tolerable. That is, if you wear layers…
My management team at work organized an outing at a golf course in Surrey. About a dozen people signed up, and despite the frost, no one was about to forgo a round of golf in favor of, well, going to work. I was well equipped not only with my usual golfing gear, but also with thermal underwear, ski hat and a brand-new ski jacket that promised to keep me warm while allowing sufficient freedom of movement.
The course was a beauty, except that the greens were so hard the balls bounced off them as if it was asphalt. They also bounced off frozen pond surfaces, with a characteristic zinging sound, often crossing the entire pond. Many balls that would find their resting place at the bottom of numerous water hazards in normal conditions, were instead rescued from that fate upon nestling under the opposite bank. Some came to rest far enough from banks to tease their erstwhile owners with their visible presence (it’s doubly grating when the ball is not lost – you can see it! – yet lost all the same).
There are a lot of water hazards on this demanding course. If you add the fact that due to general weather conditions, no carts or trolleys were allowed – i.e., everybody was schlepping their own bags around, – you can guess that my scoring left a lot to be desired.
Maybe it was all the extra clothes, or more than three months since I last played, or the unaccustomed feeling of all the extra muscles I gained in the gym. Maybe it was the result of a confrontation with a group of abrasive locals (of course, our pace of play was kinda slow – I was spending half the time looking for lost balls), which left me flustered, unnecessarily rushing and suddenly unable to hit the ball off the tee. Whatever the reason, I ended up playing the worst round that I can remember, which included 17 (that’s seventeen) lost balls, ten holes on which I took more than 7 shots each, and only 4 net pars. Even my notoriously inept turn in July went better overall.
At least, there was socializing with colleagues… And I did impress one senior-to-me guy, who gave up on 12th hole due to his own ineptness, with my continuing perseverance in the face of adversity.
Well, ok, winter golf is exactly as bad as it sounds.
In positive news, Becky is on vacation as of today, so more sleep for me for the next three weeks…