Friends and Criqueteers,
January is a lousy month. Whoever invented it clearly held a grudge against the outdoors, humanity in general, and the ethereal feeling of striking a small white ball and seeing it drop into a tiny hole in the ground hundreds of yards away.
Yes, it has been too long since we’ve held a cold steel (5-iron) blade in our hands and used said blade to rip one down the guts of the fairway. Too long since we have played from the tips and wondered in awe at the mostly unknowable series of muscle movements that, from backswing to follow-through, somehow sent the Titleist on a rope to the pin. Too long since we saved double bogey by sinking that 23-footer with the weird break toward the water. Yes, double bogey – even the best of us have shanked one into the woods, duffed the bunker shot, and yet redeemed the scorecard with a putt that was as pure and perfect as a silver fork tinging against lead crystal. Or a vinyl copy of Neil Young’s On the Beach.
So, as the January weather whipsaws us between “polar vortex”, “arctic blast” and “my family jewels just receded into my stomach” we must remind ourselves that warmer days lie just ahead. And with them the promise that the greens will be groomed, the drink carts will be stocked, and the fairways will be green (or, at least in Texas, not too brown.)
Sidenote: How do people north of the Mason Dixon do it? Do they not despair when they look out the window in this godforsaken month and realize it’s maybe the halfway point? Do they not see the mountains of white evil piled atop the Earth and shudder at nature’s cruel attempt to keep them from a good 18? (In their defense, they do seem more prepared to handle a bunch of snowflakes named “Leon” better than the rest of us.)
Fear not. For all you who look upon the cold, gray outdoors and despair, spring is around the corner. And with it comes newness of life and the hope that our handicaps might lose a point or two.
Sip some scotch, clean your clubs, and hold fast, my brothers. January has almost reached its bitter end, and you can thank the golf saints above that February only has 28 days. Besides, if there’s one truth to both one’s golf game and the weather, it’s that neither is consistent.
Be the ball,