The golf courses in the area are poised to open. They started their spring clean up weeks ago and are waiting for the ground to dry up just a bit more. With sunny weather in the forecast, it will not be long now. But, with the advent of spring, other challenges for golfers arise that affect their game and I am not sure they are really aware of it. So, I thought I would lament on some of the challenges I see with spring golf.
First and foremost, I am not complaining about spring. I am thrilled it is here and that I am out golfing after 7 months of forced rest. The list of things below is purely things I consider when playing and adjust my game accordingly.
- Wet Conditions. In my area, the course stays wet for the month of May. Not soaking with standing water everywhere, but damp conditions. These conditions affect the distance my ball will travel. I will get relatively no roll and as such will play the course with fly distances. Most of the time, it means taking an extra club knowing I will receive little or no roll out.
- Short Game. I avoid the bump and run unless I am within 5 yards of the green. My ball will just hit and stop most of the time. Chipping is okay, but understand the roll out is only half the distance as normal. I rely on pitching the most. I fly the ball deeper in the green and try to hit just short of the pin. Most of the time, this approach is successful and I have a relatively short putt for birdie!
- Dirty Equipment. Playing in spring my clubs get dirtier than normal. I do not mean a little, I mean dirt every where. Mostly, my grooves take a beating. I carry a brush and towel always. I use these after every shot before moving to my next shot. After 2 rounds, I wash my towel because it is usually caked with dirt.
- Course Maintenance. I look after my golf course in the spring. I pick up garbage as I walk, throw larger sticks into the woods, avoid very wet areas and fill all the craters I make on the green from my approach shots. The ball usually leaves a larger divot in the green and I take great care to fix my damage. These small things go a long way to keeping my home course in great condition for the rest of the season.
Spring golf affects my golf game; nothing I cannot handle, but it does take its toll. After 40+ years of playing, I have my routines and fixes for most spring issues and relish playing golf in the fresh air. It is important to understand that each season offers it own challenges and as a golfer, we have to be ready for anything.
Does spring affect your golf game?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!