Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dark Thoughts: 2014 Winter Support Group

[photo by mike_cala]

This snowstorm is a good occasion on which to open up a support group for everyone dealing with the complications of winter. Me, I'm fresh off playing some golf so I'm not actually feeling it just yet, but I will soon enough. Once it sets in, it'll be pretty bad I'm sure.

You see, I was lucky enough to get to play quite a bit in December and most of this month. Binged if you will. Not only was I playing a lot, I was playing fast, on empty courses. (To me right now, two and a half hours for eighteen holes seems about standard.) So what it all means is that I had been playing more while spending less time on the course.

Okay, so conditions were rough and unpredictable and the weather wasn't exactly fun, but come on--more golf in less time, is that not the holy grail for the serious recreational golfer? But wait, there's more. All winter long I was clicking into some pretty insane tee-time deals. More golf, in less time, at a cheaper cost.

But wait, there's more still. Late in the year I made some huge improvements to my setup and swing, and I was just starting to enjoy some results. The courses might've been wrecked, but my stats and scores were trending positively. Hitting driver, finding fairways like it's no big deal. The swing was starting to both feel good physically and make sense theoretically.

So that's more golf, less time, cheaper cost, and a golf game on the upswing. Nice, right? Well, the door to that wonderful world has closed for now. When it opens again remains to be seen. If it opens again this season.

Suck it up, you might say. Spring's just around the corner, you might say. The days are getting longer. The Masters is not that far away.

Yeah, well, no. The problem for me is where do I go from here. This was peak season for me. I've grown attached to it. I've long since made peace--nay--made friends with the cold. I was having as much if not more fun than all of last year. And now it could be over. Spring arriving only means the end of fast rounds, the end of cheap green fees. It means Hello, slow play. Hello, boring, annoying people. Not long after that it's gonna be Hello, sweaty glove; Hello, greasy sunscreen; Hello, heatstroke. Hello, 5pm twilight rates. It's all downhill from here, 'til late October perhaps. But who can even think that far ahead.


This is a serious matter. This is not some jokey, SEO-baiting bullshit puff piece about how to deal with those pesky winter blues. I have no pithy tips, novel solutions or poignant JPEG's to offer. Solidarity, that's about all I can offer I guess.

Comments are all welcome, but since this is so serious a matter, you will probably want to refrain from talking up your own temperate climate, if you happen to live in one. No one wants to hear it and no matter how nice your weather might be right now, there is probably something that truly sucks about wherever it is you live. So don't even start. You think I am joking around, try me. I have no problem displacing bile in a way that is petty, vindictive, inappropriate even. Just ask the last telemarketer who dialed up my cell phone number at the wrong moment.

No, this is where we confront ugliness, the desolation, the futility, the debilitating effects of golf deprivation and withdrawal. Like Churchill said--the only way out is through. This is where we stare into the abyss of winter, and peer at all the futility and desperation within. This is where we will air out the deepest, most twisted and nihilistic golf thoughts that tend to materialize in times like these, and curse the fickle, uncooperative weather. This is where we can momentarily forget about the real troubles going on in the world at large, and instead wallow in our own angst and freely bemoan our predicament, trivial and first-world privileged as it may be.

But, maybe we can also take the opportunity to share some of our fun plans, our ambitious goals for the upcoming season, the things we look forward to most. Happy thoughts if you will. I don't want to be a total downer. Like for me, I plan on going back to Bethpage Black in the spring--try and redeem myself after playing like a chump there early last year. I am looking forward to that, I really am.


  1. Yeah we have been lucky. Basking in the frigid temps getting all we can get. Quick play, no interference and GREAT prices has boosted my moral. On top of that, I too have been finding some positive results. But a screeching halt has beset us. What the hell. I still believe we will get plenty of time in February to continue the quest. Can't last long.


    1. Optimism--alright! Actually I took a good look at the conditions around here and it's not as bad as I thought initially. The forecast however is looking terrible. As bleak as I've ever seen. It's going to take a miracle--40+ degrees and rain, and that doesn't seem likely any time soon. Also we might get more snow after the weekend. I give up.

  2. Give up? No way. It may be shit for the rest of this month but the worm will turn in our favor next month. Not saying a lot of golf but at least one round to continue the consecutive month streak. The forecast is somewhat 'chilly' but not as bleak as Brian's out there in no man's land. He hasn't played in so long he may not remember where his clubs are. Says he took up ice fishin. That a sure sign of PTSD if you ask me.


  3. As brash as it sounds, I think I would be willing to trade our positions, long-term, even though I am playing golf at the moment (no, I won't brag about it, as requested): CA is in the worth drought since they started measuring in 1849, the Governor as asked for a 20% voluntary conservation effort as a first step. Yes, golf courses are open, the weather in unusually mild, but the area is getting bone dry and while I enjoy playing golf short term, the consequences long term are quite unpleasant to even think about.

    So there you have it, know that while you are in a tough, temporary situation, things are looking up and could be worse. All the best, guys.

    1. Thanks Duff. You can brag about your CA weather, I won't mind. I already traded positions long-term myself--I used to be a Californian. I'm over it. It's nice in that you can do lots of outdoorin' all year round and what not but other than that I always found that semi-desert climate kind of boring. Dry if you will--AHAHAHA. Sorry. Anyways I remember going through a drought panic in the early 90s. Thanks for reminding us that you guys got problems too. It's not just a shortage either, what little H2O is not such good quality--it's hard and murky. And careful not to touch any of the smelly reclaimed stuff coming out of the sprinklers. Also golf-wise I'm sure the drought is having a nice effect on your kikuyu grass, which is dry and coarse enough to begin with. I feel a little better now.

  4. Caught a half dozen yellow perch last weekend.


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