Golf beckons, and life is good again
Welcome back old friend, I’m so glad you’re here.
Finally, mercifully, the 2008 golf season is upon us. Anyone else out there tired of winter? Wow, what a long pull that was.
I know the drill by now, lifelong Minnesotan that I am. Started golfing by age 5. So 37 times I’ve watched and waited for the snow to go. It always does, but this time it was different.
This past winter was the toughest. Not just the weather. Everything.
Feels like we’ve been battered these last five months. The housing market, pounded. Our streets and roads, cracks and pot holes everywhere. The stock market, plunging. My boulevard after the snirt banks receded, disaster zone. Our wallets after trips to the gas pump and grocery store, emptying.
Welcome back old friend, we really need you right now.
With the shaky economy, I’ve read how this could be a difficult year for the golf business. Makes sense I suppose, folks looking to cut back a bit, save a few precious bucks. Nationally, the trend the last couple years has found fewer and fewer folks taking up or sticking with golf.
But you know what? I have a theory. I think 2008 will be the best golf season ever. Why? Because we need it to be.
We need the simple pleasures. The thumping sound of a well-struck bunker shot. The cool smell of fresh-cut grass in the dewy morning. The clinking sound your irons make as you walk or ride. The beautiful arc of a solid drive. The smell of a well-worn leather glove. The familiar cackle of laughter from your regular Saturday morning foursome.
Welcome back old friend.
It was a heck of a wait
The 2008 golf season will be the best ever because we’ve been forced to wait SO long for it to arrive. There were no Thanksgiving rounds last fall, no early- to mid-December stolen 18-hole strolls. Admit it, we had become spoiled, expecting those precious late-in-the-year golf outings.
Turns out Minnesota isn’t Missouri after all.
Just cold and snow for the last five plus months. An old fashioned 1970s winter, the kind you’ve been telling your kids about for years. The good old days. Only thing is, you forget how hard the good old days really were.
So we waited. And waited. And waited. Then we waited some more. Reminded me of being a kid back in those ‘70s, waiting for my grandma and grandpa to arrive for whatever holiday it may have been. "Mom, what time did you say they’d be here?" we’d ask time and again. We’d peer out the front window, we’d run down the street to look around the corner. Where is that blue Oldsmobile Delta ‘88? The one with the compass on the dash?
Like the excruciating waiting game every Christmas Eve. Will the grownups ever finish dinner so we can get to the presents?
On the subject of holidays, you know how the fishing opener in May has sort of become a state-wide holiday? Well, we don’t have a magical date on the calendar to proclaim our 2008 Golfing Opener, but let me just leave you with this.
Whenever and wherever your first rounds of the season find you, enjoy the moment. Smile as you pull into the parking lot. Savor the feeling of taking your bag out of the trunk. Really feel that tee sink into the ground on the first hole. Listen to the birds chirping in the trees. Feel the breeze on your cheek. Gaze at the flag in the distance, down the fairway. You’ll be there soon.
Welcome back old friend.
Greg Peterson of Rochester periodically writes freelance articles on golf for the Post-Bulletin. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org