If the weather holds and I manage to play a round of golf in November, it will mark the 45th consecutive month that I have played golf in Michigan. The last month I did not manage to play 18 holes was February, 2015. Yes, I am one of those fools wandering around on the course when it is 35 degrees. While I can handle cold and wind, I do have some standards as far as conditions. I neither play when the greens are frozen solid as concrete nor if the course is mostly or entirely covered in snow & ice.
It is a rare winter in Ann Arbor when the weather is mild enough to eliminate the snow cover for an extended period; we average 60 inches of snow annually. Still, there are mild stretches when the sun, temperatures and rain will melt the snow cover. This past February, we had a two-week period where temperatures pushed 60 degrees and some hardy souls were wearing shorts. My guess is the streak will end in January or February of 2019. Despite the many signs that our climate may be warming, this isn’t Palm Beach; we are overdue for a hard winter.
Speaking of streaks, my “modern” holes-under-par-streak remains at 3. I had a few opportunities where I managed 2 consecutive birdies this year, but never succeeded in getting 3, much less 4. I call it my “modern” streak because I had an out-of-body experience back in the early 1980’s. Having never broken 100, I rattled off “eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie” while playing nine at a local course with some friends. Of course, I opened the round with a double but then found myself standing on the 6th tee at three under. Thoughts of a course record danced in my head. Reverting back to my normal game, the next four holes were not pretty. I did not even break 40 for the nine. Truthfully, that streak was a total fluke, like flipping a coin and coming up heads 20 times in a row.
A streak that will be coming to an end this year is my “100+ rounds a year” streak. About 10 years ago I began a flexible work schedule. Playing 100+ times a year was a no brainer. This year there just wasn’t the drive to go out and play like year’s past. If the weather stays relatively mild, I might hit 90 but 100 is out of the question.
Finally, in 2018, I continued the golf streak that means the most to me. My first Ann Arbor City Men’s Golf Championship was in 1990. Every year since then I have played, save 1995 when the course was closed for renovation and there was no tournament. I look at the field in 1990 versus 2017 and the only name they have in common is mine. I now play against the sons or grandsons of the guys who played in 1990. Sadly, I have always been a participant rather than a contender. In a field of 150, my best finish was a tie for 20th. Still, I have always enjoyed measuring myself against the course and my fellow hackers. Nowadays I finish in the middle of the pack with an average three-day total of around 255. When the day comes that I can’t walk the 54 holes and/or can’t keep my scores under 90, I will retire. At this point, the plan is to continue the streak to 29 in 2019.
What kind of streaks does everyone else have?