Foul Weather Golf
I am finishing up a trip to the Richmond, VA area this weekend, and we played in a charity golf tournament at Trump National up by D.C. yesterday. Well, coming out of Texas where we have almost forgotten what “rain” is, I was overwhelmed by the amount of water this area has dealt with the past few months. As I was marveling at a completely washed out stone bridge, the club manager drove up and explained that they had had 11” in one day a week ago!!! We haven’t had that much rain in my part of Texas this whole year.
We played in a light drizzle to mist, and temps were in the high 50s, which made conditions challenging at the very least. I haven’t played golf in anything but shorts and lightweight shirt for months, so adapting to the long sleeve polo, vest and windshirt (which was all I had with me) was pretty tough. As we enter fall and press our golf as far into winter as we can, we’ll all be dealing with an increasing tough game. And adjustments are in order.
First of all, relax your expectations. This game is tough enough when you can swing freely and the temps are warm. Add in a chilly day, moisture in the air and a breeze, and your muscles just don’t perform as they did when it was in the 80s and 90s. Accept that. Your swing will be shorter and that affects your tempo and swing timing. Put some time in on the range to get your “new feel” for colder weather golf.
Then you have to factor in the bulk clothing aspect. When you put on a few layers to stay warm, it will also shorten your backswing and affect your rhythm and timing as well.
But the toughest condition for me to deal with yesterday was the softness of the turf. I had played a tough Rees Jones course on Sunday and struck the ball very well, so I felt good about playing in the tournament, even though it was a simple charity scramble. They had the range set up where we were hitting off mats, which I personally don’t like because they are so forgiving. But I was swinging well and hitting it nicely. Then we went to our assigned hole and teed off.
The first iron shot we had, I watched as the earth literally exploded in a shower of water and mud for each of the first three players. The red dirt was so saturated with rain that it squished under your feet and absolutely “ate” a golf club. There was no amount of bounce on any club that was going to reject from that. And it got to me. After a few very poor iron shots, I found myself trying to pick the ball cleanly, and things got worse. All in all, it was a terribly disappointing day for me, and I felt as if I had never played before.
So, the moral of this post is that you will find yourself in situations some days on the golf course where it just seems that the stars are aligned against you and you can’t do anything. My advice is to just accept that, keep on trying and make the best of it. That’s what I tried to do yesterday.
The whole day was made “worth it”, when we met Amanda, a brave little 9-year-old girl who has battled a rare form of bone cancer and has adapted well to her “J-leg” prosthetic. She was bouncing around with her little sister during the after-ceremony, and was so full of life that it embarrassed me to think about how I was grumbling about my golf. The event raised almost $200,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network, and that money will help more little girls like Amanda.
My less-than-stellar golf for the day became very insignificant.
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Welcome to the Richmond area...we locals love it, rain or shine, and like you we put up with whatever nature sends to our courses. I love it when my wife sees me come home covered with dirt/dust/mud and asks...."did you have a good game?" All golfers I know complain about the least little thing...we're just lucky to have a little girl, like the one you met, to put life back into perspective.
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