Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Frozen Golf

Looking form the Clubhouse toward the
Starters Hut
Yesterday the weather appeared to be marginally suitable for golf and so I hit the links with great expectations for my second outing of the year at my local course, Timbers at Troy. I enjoy playing at Timbers because it is close, challenging, and a nice setting.

The temperatures were above freezing and were supposed to get above 40 degrees pretty quickly and so I was expecting that dressed properly I would have a fun round and I would enjoy the holiday by being outside.

I should have known something was amiss when I arrived at the course and there were snowflakes in the air. And then there was the obligatory frost delay--which was only 12 minutes from the Tee time and seemed somewhat gratuitous once the true course conditions were known. So I need to give a shout out to Mike for suffering through the conditions with me to complete the round of golf.

Arriving at the first tee box, it became clear that the day was going to be anything but ordinary. The ground was frozen and it was impossible to place the tee into the ground any deeper than just enough to hold the ball--which is OK for me since I am still playing the ball that high anyway. It did pose a problem on the Par 3's, however, and for a couple of those holes I was driving right off the ground. 

The greatest thing about the conditions--the frozen tundra being played on, was the roll out. I hit my longest drive ever--actually it was an average drive that rolled another 80 yards. It was fun to watch. I should have taken a few pictures, but I didn't think about it. It was also fun to be alone on the course. One other golfer was paying at a faster rate and he played through on the 10th and was never seen again.

The most frustrating thing about the conditions were the greens. Most were frozen and the balls would hit them and bounce like it was hitting concrete. That created some funny situations as well as one where I hit a perfect shot and the ball bounced high over the flag and off into the forest never to be seen again. Later in the day as the greens thawed, the water slowed the balls as they rolled causing at least one four putt. It was pretty frustrating to be on the green with a putt for par and four putt the hole for a seven--ugh!

I learned a lot about winter conditions.  But I also made some really good shots--including actually hitting 12 of the fairways driving from the tees. That may never happen again.  Of course there were some really ugly shots after those great drives that still need to be dealt with.  Especially Hole 9, which is a Par 5 and I was on the green in 7 and then 3 putted for a 10! Definitely the ugliest hole of the day. The course notes indicate the the 9th Hole is the toughest on the course--I can attest to that. 

Even though the temperature never achieved the high that was expected and the wind was cold at times, I had a great time on the golf course. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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