Let’s be honest. The start of the golf season is unlike the start of any other sports season.
If my father was still around he might say that there’s nothing quite like the opening day of Major League Baseball, especially when it’s in one of the grand no stadiums like Fenway Park. But seriously, Dad, golf is different. It’s not even close.
In northern climates, our season begins in parallel with us all Awakening from the cold, dark and gloom of a long Hibernation. We are starting to spend time on our Lawns at the same time we’re dusting off our Clubs.
Getting back on the course for the first time in six months coincides with the rebirth of nature around us and the associated uptick in fashion that is palpable in our neighborhoods, downtown patios and on our trails.
With baseball you haven’t been teased and primed with the most Heavenly images of the sport in the weeks leading up to the opening day. Spring training in Dunedin hardly matches those four days of The Masters.
We’ve been fed a diet of network coverage of professional golf on the now Magnificent of Venues. First in Hawaii, then to Pebble Beach, Riviera, TPC Sawgrass and then last week’s hundred hours of Augusta National.
How could we Golfers be in any other state than this drunken, delirious longing to be whacking a little white ball around for real, not into a net or a screen.
Simulators be gone. It’s time for real grass under our feet and real hazards to Kerplunk in. And we want them now.
Don’t forget new equipment. My dad may have been salivating at the memory of walking into Wrigley Field and enjoying one of those yummy ballpark hotdogs. But the anticipation of putting new technology to the test in golf is beyond even the smell of a new ball glove or the feel of a perfectly Weighted bat.
Will this new ball go farther? Straighter? Will it dance on the greens like it does for Rory or Scotty?
Maybe this could be the year you go low. Real low.
We all have different Definitions of what it means to go low. But the feeling’s the same. There’s as much Joy and pride in breaking 90 as there is 80 and 70.
It’s the most obvious yet least talked about power that our sport holds over us; that it doesn’t matter where you are on the scoring Spectrum, improvement feels Incredible at every point on that line. And moving in the wrong direction feels every bit as crappy.
Let’s not forget about the community. The people you are reintroduced to each and every April that you haven’t seen since closing day. You spot those two guys who knocked you out in the two-man best-ball last August and all of a Sudden your competitive juices are pulsing through your body. Let me at them.
If you’re Lucky enough to have a home course, a club that feels like its own special community, you’re Lucky. Golf can be just a series of tee times spread over several months with a scorecard for each of those rounds. But when you’re part of a genuine golfing community, this time of year is sweet.
The first time you run into that doc who gave you your second COVID-19 shot. Your old high school principal or hockey Coach that still knows you by name.
That Magical walk when a hundred of you head out in all directions from your clubhouse to participate in the first shotgun of the season. It can’t happen soon enough.
The opening of our golf courses is unmatched by the start of any other season. Play away.