We had a cold snap last month. I mean a real cold snap, where the pipes can actually freeze in your trailer. It was so cold that the gator was hanging around the clubhouse, trying to stay warm.
Cold weather doesn’t faze me. Usually. But age is creeping up on me, I guess. I figured that out when I was at the first tee and my back didn’t want me to get back up from putting my ball on the tee. I was bundled up – I had on 3 tee shirts under my wind breaker and sweat pants under my golfing shorts. My wind breaker was the only reason I was even allowed to play, because they want you to wear collared shirts.
The first hole wasn’t so bad, I was able to drive it pretty far, within the fairway. Unfortunately, I overshot the green on my second shot, but I hit the ball cleaner from hole 3 and it bounced back onto the green for an easy birdie putt. The rest of the day went downhill from there.
In Florida, downhill rarely means terrain. They may landscape a few rolling hills by trucking in dirt from Alabama, but those aren’t hills. My day went downhill because the wind picked up and it made the temperature feel even colder. Soon, I was wearing gloves on both hands (the pinky and thumb are not similar in size, it turns out). My hat kept blowing off whenever I would look down at the ball. I improvised and just swung without looking.
My score still could have been worse. I got lucky a few times, where a tree would jump in front of my ball and ricochet it back onto the fairway. At other times, the trees would ricochet it onto the neighboring fairway, but those usually weren’t all that bad. A long iron shot would get me back near the green, unless I looked down and lost my hat as I swung.
We usually stop counting at 10 on individual holes. Good thing, too. I was cussing so much, I would lose count. (Another sign that age was starting to creep into my game). I used to never lose count… I could swear up one fairway and down another and never lose how many swings I had swung. But I found myself asking my partner if that was 9 or 10 quite a few times in between a few choice words that they didn’t want us using in the clubhouse.
Can you imagine how much beer they sold that week? Actually, though, I was buying the beers to hide the fact that I was doing shots. The alcohol was great for hiding the fact that my fingers were turning blue. (The gloves were discolored from all the beer I spilled on them and they turned my fingers blue). Well, it didn’t hide it much, but I forgot about it pretty regularly. In fact, I would only notice once I got to the clubhouse or the rest room… and then I would forget again.
I also lost a few clubs that week. Once, the 7 iron just slid out of my numb fingers and sailed into the middle of the pond. I didn’t realize the gator was in the clubhouse, or I would have gone after it. Another hole, I put my club in someone else’s golf cart. I realized it after they caught up with us and stole it back. They kept the club.
Overall, though, I can’t complain. I saw some guys from Illinois in short sleeves and shorts asking why the sun was so bright. That was right before my putter disappeared into their convertible…