As I write this article, I can feel my game settling in for a long winter’s nap. I have reached a point in my golf season where my clubs scream to be put a way because it is too cold and wet to have fun on the course. Unlike my friends to the south, golfers in the northern climes weigh the cool wet (actually the cold wet) playing conditions benefits. In my case, staying home and preparing for winter is a better use of my time. I realize that as a grateful golfer my waving the white flag to end my golf season is strange, but playing golf where my layers of clothing number higher than my score…..then it is time to call it a season!
My last round of golf was 2 October at the hickory stick tournament. It was a cool round and located four hours drive due south of my location. Basically, it was 20 km from the Canada/USA border where the temperatures run much warmer than my home location. Since, I have watched the weather slowly and consistently drop to a point where golfing becomes too uncomfortable enjoy.
I am not sure what happens now with my game, but I do know that my game will require some attention to limit the amount of rust accumulate over my long winter’s nap. For those who have offered in the past, I will not be travelling south to play golf this year because….well….it is not something that my wife and I do when the snow flies. We still embrace the winter and until that changes, my DIY golf net will have to do.
This off season will be different. As I turn the corner to the back nine of my game, I have decided to focus on fitness, hitting more balls into my DIY golf net, and to expand my knowledge about hickory shafted golf clubs. Of course my current goals might change and only time will tell if I need to make a paradigm shift as the winter weighs on.
On a side note, I have something special to show you that will help my game next year. I am not going to say more, but will have a picture or two that make some of you jealous.
Well, it is time to put the coffee on, grab a warm blanket and get ready for my day. For those that are curious, Today is going to be a cool 10° C (50° F) with rain. So dreaming about golf is all I am going to do.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
4 thoughts on “Settling In For A Long Winter’s Nap”
I have made the transition to fall/winter golf and packed away my shorts and short sleeve golf shoes. My warm plus fours are the standard fare with long sleeve golf shirts. Cart gloves, toque and warm layers are in the bag pockets or in the Clic Gear bag attachment.
My modern clubs have likely been retired for the year in favour of playing classic era, hickory on any warmer days. I love playing the vintage equipment and so do most of our GHSC group.
This past week has been a blast. On Tuesday we had a big hickory event at Dundas Valley, a Stanley Thompson gem. We had 34 players on a beautiful fall day, including several that you met in Niagara. Yesterday, three of us helped Thornhill Golf and Country Club celebrate their hosting of the 1945 Canadian Open with vintage clubs . Thornhill appreciates their long history which is very satisfying. In between, two hickory and one classic round completed the week.
Today, was a hickory loonie match with Johnny. He played with you at Niagara. We had a great match with several lead changes. I made a clutch putt on 18 to halve the match which was the right ending to a great game.
I understand your decision to hang them up, it just isn’t me. There are still some great games to be played and we know how to dress for the weather. We have Guttyfest planned for Thursday and hopefully the weather will cooperate (at least be dry). It is an opportunity to play clubs from the earliest time of golf in North America (1874-1899) with replica gutta percha balls. It is a unique experience and Johnny is going to try it for the first time.
I look forward to the next time we get a chance to play. It is great that you have your own set of hickories, you won’t be disappointed in their acquisition.
I too am a grateful golfer.
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Sounds like you are still going strong. The weather is just too austere here. Besides, our courses close at the end of the month. I wish I lived closer to participate in a few more hickory events, but next year we might start a northern swing. I had a great time playing with the guys in Niagara. The guys are great. Have fun with fall golf!
If the day was like that here, I’d stay home too. I’ve played in it and it’s not a ton of fun. But I was on vacation playing neat courses that I refused to miss out on weather or no. But here, cold and wet at the same time would keep me in for sure. Thankfully though, that’s not often.
I’ll be spending time this week thinking about how to squeeze at least one more stroke out next week here. How to limit mistakes to something that doesn’t cost a double. Of the three I had today, one was just a stupid error. Taking no practice swing isn’t the brightest move I’ve made.
The other two though I think can be mitigated with a club change off the tee. Go smaller. One for sure. The other I’m still weighing. It’s a long par 5 that doglegs 90 degrees right. But it’s not a very large area you can see through unhindered. I can reach that spot with the driver, but today I hit a push fade there that found a truly rotten spot to land and worse, a truly rotten drop area to hit from. But I think a 4 hybrid would get me close enough that a 7 iron would take me both over that mound and tree that guards the corner and leave me with at most the 5 hybrid in. Not what I envisioned today. I was thinking driver, 4 hybrid, and wedge in for a good shot at bird. But that drive had me scrambling the rest of the hole from positions you just don’t want to see. So a safer shot off the tee seems warranted there maybe. Or maybe it will just take a better aim point. That’s my other thought on the subject. My aim point might have been too generous too risky and I might have shy’d away when the first little thing wasn’t just right. I don’t know but that’s where my mind is tonight. I get three times to break 80 there and I started off with an 80 on the first round. I’m just not going to be happy unless I get this course on my list of goals passed.
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Club selection is critical on any par 5. I would recommend dividing the hole into three equal distances to be on in regulation. To add a bit more course management strategy, add 1 club more to each shot to shorten your approach shot. Then aim for the center of the fairway on the first two shots and the center of the green on the approach shot. I bet you will not walk away with more than a par on any par 5 (bogey at worst). Hitting to a distance is an underrated course management strategy. I recommend you give it a try….if you do, let us know how it goes.