Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dark Thoughts: vol. 4: 2013 Season End Watch

We got some snow this week, and now it's being followed up by freezing temperatures for the forecastable future. Which means we are now at the point where every round, just might be the final round of the 2013 season. Now I try not to assign too much significance to the passing of Gregorian calendar-based intervals; the more salient point here is that each round played in these precarious times, just might be the last round for a really f'n long time.

I don't really feel that in my gut that it's the end, nor are there any major storm events on the horizon, but you just never know. Back at the end of '10, hard winter came early; the golf season was slammed shut right after Thanksgiving and wasn't revived until March. Really dark times.

It had rained and snowed for much of the past weekend, and it was fairly cold out, but I wanted to sneak in a round before the weather got really bad. So I hit up Dyker Beach because it's the best course around when conditions turns sloppy, and a good course for walking, which is the only way anyone was playing golf in the tri-state today.

It really wasn't that cold out (to me at least) but the course was a total mess. The latest storm looked to have shaken a lot of the remaining dead leaves off the trees and scattered them all over.

On days like this I usually ask the pro shop guy how many people are on the course, and when the last one teed off. About five people, he told me, the last of which went out about an hour ago. Maybe it's the sign of a misanthropic bent, but for me moments like this are really where it's at. Playing golf in the company of friends and cool people is great, but there is also something intrinsically perfect about gaming it all alone out there. When you live in what is perhaps the most obnoxious city on the planet, every moment alone on a golf course is an outrageous privilege. Think about it. Being the only human within acres, having all that grass and trees and open sky all to yourself while still being within city limits--it's a pleasure that may never be experienced by the non-golfers of New York City. And quite frankly, screw them.

Do you ever imagine yourself in an Omega Man scenario, in which you are the last person on earth? I imagine that after a short period of mourning for humanity and everyone I'd ever known I'd be back out there playing golf. A lot of time would have to be spent mowing fairways and rolling greens and what not, but in between all that, and the work of basic survival, I'd try to get out on the course at least four, maybe five times a week.

Pulled the tee shot way left here on #8. Fun chip, off a bare lie, then up and over a whale's back to an impossible pin. I made a career chip here and then lipped out the putt.

Today was a day for fishing... the ball out of the cup using the putter head, all 18 holes. Bizarre though, in spite of all the wetness the greens ran fast. I really struggled here, taking 39 putts. Twenty or thirty of them lipped out, it seems; at other times I made flat-out horrible misreads, on greens I'm supposed to know like the back of my hand. There was a four-putt, a three-putt from five feet; it was just that kind of day.

Stubborn little spot of snow that refused to melt, the only bit of snow on the entire course. Gotta respect that I guess. (See the ball, chipped tight near the hole? That's the five-foot three-putt.)

It was just real tough conditions no matter where you ended up. Soggy mess, leaves everywhere. There was even a penalty stroke for stroking a leaf in a bunker. But, I guess I did well to at least not lose ownership of any balls today.

Grass and goose crap clogged up the spikes, add a couple inches to my height and created some hopeless slip and slide conditions.

This is probably the work of geese, but it really looks like a pack of dogs partied all over the greens. I don't remember goose turds being this massive. Disclosure: I used the tip of the flagstick to sweep poops off my putting line.

I'll be straight with you even though it is painful to do so--I couldn't even break 90 on this day. The double bogeys out numbered the pars. Shame on me because it was one of the better driving rounds I've had. En route to the greens something always managed to go wrong--chunky irons, odd bounces, mud balls, potentially great chips waylaid by thick excrement logs on the green.

It will be a bummer if this ends up being the last round for a while because even though I couldn't get the ball in the hole, I hit 10 of 14 fairways and swung the 1-wood about as well as I ever have. As far as I can tell, and maybe some better players can weigh in on this, you just cannot fake it with this club. So dammit, I'll go as far as to say I am swinging it better than ever.

It can't end like this. It just can't. It won't. I have such good scores brewing inside me, I can feel it. If I have to get out there in sub-freezing, near-zero temperatures then so be it. Believe me I'll do it. Just put on a f'n parka and do it. What do I care.


  1. You've got some big geese in NYC!

  2. Extremely motivating rant young man. We in the mid atlantic below you are in the same boat. Snow carpeting everywhere as of now. But it will melt some by this weekend I hope. Seems to me we've been playing in some rather shitty conditions as of late. Hell I just got back from Houston, Texas and it was cold and rainy damn near the whole time. Can't catch a break.

    And who can forget the winter of '10 around here. Long layoff.

    Those geese seem to be eating rather well!


  3. Nice proper, righteous rant, Mr Legit, or should I call it a legitimate rant? I was needling you a little over a week ago with our weather in North Cal, but things have turned, badly. Temps have been in the mid-20s every night for over a week now, with frost delays at the golf courses and whatnot. Fortunately, people around here are mostly wimps and they quit at the first chance: wet, wind or cold. I just layer up and soldier on, with a smile on my face... Kudos for being out there in the elements.

    FYI, out here Canada geese no longer migrate: they've decided to stay for good and their stuff is as bad as yours and is sometimes everywhere. It's gotten so bad that some golf courses are enlisting the help of border collies and other similar dogs to chase them from the course.

  4. Great blog. It's a bit douchebag-lite lately, but I guess that comes with the season. Keep it coming.

  5. It's going to be 60F this weekend and I'm stuck at a wedding on Saturday and family stuff on Sunday..hopefully it rains hard enough to not make me feel bad.


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