Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Golf and Weather

Golf is not a hot weather game. Never meant to be.

I'm not sure that it's even a warm weather pastime. Perhaps those Scottish gents in their three-piece woolies being all gentlemanly weren't necessarily dressing like fine gents as much as they were trying to keep from freezing off their arseies. They also gave their used clothing to their caddies who piled them on layer over layer to keep warm (and perhaps to keep track of them as well). I have indeed played the fine Kintyre Course at Turnberry in Ayrshire on a 95* F day, but that is hardly the rule. Most days in the Home of Golf peak out in the 40's-60's at best and that's just fine with me. Those choices of clothing weren't by accident, you know. Not that some of America's finest clubs gave that any kind of thought when importing the game en toto.

Another American abuse of the grand old game is the transmogrification into something needing iced towels, motorised carts and (thankfully!) shortened trousers in those hot humid climes where the game thrives at least in numbers. Being gentlemanly in the summer and in the southeastern United States is a health hazard and most American Clubs have rescinded the archaic prolongation of this old custom. Now I do have to say that I don't mind Bermuda (Couch) grass becoming a part of the greatest way to spend a day with your clothing on, but we do need to stay healthy and be practical. Warm weather bent grasses have now led to backs being turned on the lovely grass surface of my first days as a golfer. It does do just fine going dormant in the cooler weather in areas where it ought to be the desired grass and sometimes gets over-seeded, but that's for another time.

Perhaps the biggest negative of the warm game is slower play, it's not as if anyone wants to hurry up and raise core temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate on a 90-90 day, lord no. Not a good idea for many and drinking the dehydrating Coca-Cola is not the answer (biochemically something called 'water obligation'). Cooler weather simultaneously thins the golf crowd and the rough to more manageable levels - density if you will - rather nicely self-regulating.

Now I like the performance clothing as much as anyone, especially traveling when one just washes it in the tub of your hotel and hangs it on the pull-string dry line so thoughtfully provided at the Starwood and Hyatts where I tend to be found lodging on the road. Only problem is that when one wears these and shall we say reacts to the heat as the human body knows how to do with evaporative methods, it tends to get a little ripe at times, so that winds up being a wash (not intended pun).

Cool weather unfortunately has its limitations as well as we are currently experiencing in the Northeastern part of the USA.


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