For the first couple decades of life, summer is the best season hands down. A time of liberation--liberation from the tyranny of academia, as well as the shackles of long-sleeves and pants. Summer is the time to gorge on sleep, and Vitamin D, watermelon and iced tea. The time to make big plans to do everything you'd wanted to do during the year but were too bogged down with stupid schoolwork. Then adulthood sets in and summer takes on a different feel. Mostly it's business as usual. But still, we cling to that euphoria, if only by habit.
As a golfer however, I've come to realize that summer is actually the darkest time of the year, emotionally. Summer is all about sweat; damp, sticky gloves; sun stroke headaches, overcrowing, long waits in the hot sun and the absolute dregs of golf course-society. For our cursed kind, it's actually a time to be endured more than enjoyed.
In this latter part of summer 2015, I have to confess that it's been an especially shitty time here in the local golfosphere. I have more or less withdrawn from the muni scene and not even felt any misgivings about it. I used to get uneasy if I'd go more than a week without playing a round. Not any more.
But now the Indian summer is finally starting to subside and the mercury is plummeting. And so I've collected some of the random photos from the last couple of sweaty months, for one last
Silver Lake GC's official dog Skye. He works hard and is a good boy. I feel sorry for him, having to mingle with NYC golfers all day, every day.
I took a ride up north to play Split Rock. The golf was fun but the subway trip, which takes you through the worst parts of the Bronx at about ten miles per hour, sucks.
I tagged along with my pal Arnold to his home course, Douglaston in Queens.
9th hole at Douglaston. Actually one of my top moments of the summer. We were playing a $2 nassau and after an eventful eight holes, we were tied. Feeling a little nervy, not to mention shaky about my swing, I somehow hit a nice 5-iron to the middle of this green, made a par and snuck away with the front nine win.
One of the better rounds of the summer. Except it took too long, Arnold was late to pick up his girlfriend, and got in some big trouble. A great example of the collateral damage caused by slow play.
Addiction often leads people into regrettable places. Dark, clandestine dens of shame.
After this "round" I had a very painful moment of clarity. I have a big problem.
Dyker Beach. Again not a proud moment.
There was all kinds of nonsense going on that day. Some kind of stupid kids' photoshoot here in the 1st fairway. For all I know this is business as usual at Dyker Beach in 2015--proud to say that I'm not a regular here, I don't know what goes on here, what they do.
The dickhead "starter" who let a group of regulars cut in front of us on the 10th tee. I wanted to get in his face and scream "MORON" but I couldn't muster the energy.
Most of my golf was played at Silver Lake. They offer a "free" shuttle from the ferry but I stopped taking it. Better to pay the bus fare and not have to call up the course, get put on hold, make the pickup appointment, then make chit-chat with the driver, then feel guilty about being the lone rider and wondering if you should try to compensate with a bigger tip. What a headache. On the bus, you pay the fare, you sit down--end of transaction. When you consider the possible alternatives, that's really quite wonderful.
I can't figure out why I took this photo or what could possibly be interesting about it. So in a way, maybe this photo sums up the whole summer.
Poor dog. Someone came up to the window to say hi and got snapped and barked at. He's a good dog but if he's a little defensive I can understand it.
Two views of the dreaded two-humped Beast of Silver Lake #15. A pretty awesome putt to have. Difficult but fair because if you hit it perfect, it'll settle at the hole.
Actually I think this one sums up my summer a little better.
A crucial fork in the road at Randall's Island. If you're driving range-bound and you happen to take the wrong turn here guess what? You're fucked.
This was during the best five holes of my life. It happened at Silver Lake. It was like walking on air. Releasing the club with such abandon as though the world was going to end the next day. I hit the drive so far on this hole I was like forty yards from the green, not really sure of what to do next.
They got a fancy new clock on the first tee at Silver Lake. Now, you can watch your tee time come and go while you stand around waiting, not teeing off.
Unfortunately on that day of the best golf of my life, the sky opened up and poured torrential rain specifically over Staten Island. No choice but to bail after eleven holes. It was going to be an epic score, I'm pretty sure of it. Oh well. On the way home the fog was so thick you couldn't see Manhattan, or anything. It looked like we were sailing the high seas. I was damp, longing for home.
I attended the US Open of tennis and watched Serena Williams' historic quest for the Grand Slam fizzle out in three tentative sets. I know, it's not golf, but hey, tennis and golf have a lot of similar or same jerkoff fans right?
One day I left my trusty 3-wood at home and had to play the round without it. Guess what, it sucked. I don't know about you but I love that club. Through thick and thin, it's probably my favorite in the bag.
In the summer the pond at Silver Lake turns into a rotten puddle.
Full disclosure. I have been hanging out by the yachts way too much. I find some comfort here.
Between the vinyl sheets, there is some illusion of separation from society. It sucks to be penned in like a livestock but hey, at least everyone gets their own pen here. We are doing okay.
I hung out here a little too much as well. What can I say, it's zen, I lose myself in chipping. Anyways, it's getting colder now and thank God. Soon it'll be safe to play golf again.