Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Weekend Runaround

A flurry of activity lately. Weather's been hitting the sweet spot lately--around 40º with windchills. That's about the line that separates the hobbyists and the truly afflicted. This is what I've waited all year for, right? Time to get out there and get it, by train, bus or boat.

First up Silver Lake. Autumn splendor quickly turning into deep, ruddy winter shades.

Still, some nice color lingers. Picturesque day. Windy though.

Seen a ball anywhere? These days it's a challenge just to not lose your shit in broad daylight.

There are 100, 150 and 200 yard markers embedded in the fairways. Soon, they will be gone forever.

Looking down the penal 17th hole with OB right.

Again, after a pushed 3-wood, a bit of luck with my ball. But from here I hit one of the best flushed 5-irons of my life into a blind elevated green, wind blowing every which way. The flight of it was just, I don't know, different. i can still picture it.

Dang, my ball was wily today, worming its way out of a few dangerous situations. I hit it decent overall, but had some putting issues. I was feeling a little freaked out with putter in hand--no way to go through life. Another round in the 80s. In this windy cold I suppose that's not horrible. In my mind though, these scores represent a slump.

Next up a weekender at Dyker. Now I know, and you know, that weekend golf is a most dangerous gambit. But with temps again in the low 40's with some considerable wind, it called to me. I know that unimpeded I can walk this course in under three hours, so I could even show up a little past twilight, hopefully avoid that glut of bargain-seekers. On a day like this, who in their right mind would tee off with three hours of daylight left? By the time I show up, it'll be dead, and I'll blow through the course just before darkness sets in. Sounds like a plan.

But I nearly didn't even make it to the course. For anyone who relies on New York City mass transit, there are good days and bad days. On good days the express train pulls into the station just as you do, the bus stops right on schedule. Other days, more typical days, your commute is fraught with despair and melancholy and bad timing--a tragicomic conspiracy of narrowly missed buses, service alerts, detoured routes, inexplicable train delays. Today was one such day. Mine involved: a flat bike tire, then a botched taxicab ride, a missed express bus followed by a steaming-mad walk to the nearest subway station followed by a long, drawn-out, weekend-detoured train ride making all local stops.

Whatever, I finally make it. Sure enough, it's mostly empty here. On the 7th, I hit a towering hook drive, that I was sure was headed for someone's windshield on 7th Avenue. Somehow it caught a limb way up high and bounced back onto the the golf course. Gratitude.

There were a few roadblocks to maneuver around (slow play, some guy wandering from fairway to fairway hitting practice shots) but I have made it to the home stretch and the coast looks clear. But I need to take this all in, give thanks for the opportunity--this for me, it's the best time of the whole goddamn golf year. Now, I will have to hustle to beat the darkness: five holes and about forty minutes to sunset. With all I went through just to get here, no way in hell I am not going to finish 18 holes. Press on.

Playing it as it lies 'til the bitter end. With a bit of sprinting, I made it to the finish line. I did okay to break bogey with an 85, but I walked off frustrated again, this time from having fought the driver all day. Having a hard time with the stupid thing lately.

Here it is, the first sighting of ice in NYC golf. A twinge of sadness. Like it or not, hard times, they are a-coming.

Another round, another mid 80's. Feeling locked in a pattern of mediocrity lately. I feel good about my swingin', but scores seem hard to find out there. Maybe I'm just getting softer but the game seems perilous out there lately. It's cold, it's windy; I should be used to that by now. Somehow though the targets seem smaller. The ball seems smaller too, and more squirrelly. The dividing line between pars and bogeys seems to get finer every day. Birdie chances, rare.

But no complaining. We are lucky to be teeing it up here. Just keep banging away.

1 comment:

  1. Same here in MD. Ice has appeared. Mud balls and leaves. However, the leaf blowers have been out. Gotta hit one real bad to loose it. Keep firing away. Though the courses are somewhat ratty looking, this IS the best time of year to play.



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