We probably all have personal markers that tell us the golf season is approaching. Our anticipation grows as we tick off the events at foreshadow our return to the course. Even those lucky players who reside in more temperate climes likely have a seasonal timeline (e.g. if the course is being over-seeded with rye it must be November; if the tourists are arriving, it must be January; if the rye is dying, it must be April).
The pre-season’s kick-off in our little corner of the Mitten is the annual Michigan Golf Show. For the past several decades the show has been held in early March. The arrival of the golf show signals to me that the golf season’s start can’t be far behind. This year, we are only 4 days away from the show and yet we remain in the icy grip of Winter.
Four weeks ago, Punxsutawney Phil promised us that Spring was just around the corner. WTF, Phil??? That fat rodent is a liar!! We have had non-stop snow, ice, rain, wind and cold since he publicly declared Spring was just around the corner.
In addition to Punxsutawney Phil and the golf show, the are several other signs of golf season approaching. The first is the blooming of our crocuses. In our front flowerbed we have several of these perennial flowers. Because of the southern exposure, those little suckers sometimes pop out in early February. This year, there is not even a hint of these harbingers of Spring. They are still under several inches of snow and ice.
Next comes the “clearing of the snow.” As the days get longer and the sun is higher in the sky, the snow on our front lawn has no chance. Patches of olive green and tan start to appear and then one morning, the snow is gone. Once the snow and ice clears, the thawing process for the ground can commence. This year, a look out the window reveals a sea of white, with more being added I as write this. Not an inch of bare ground is visible.
Finally, as I drive around the area, I keep an eagle eye out for the surest sign that a course is about to open, flag sticks in the holes. Like golf’s equivalent to daffodils, suddenly a course will be in bloom with brightly colored flags. Of course, in the electronic age there is no need to search for flags; all the courses will email us when they plan to open. It is not as fun as cruising around but certainly more efficient.
Sadly, there appears to be no let-up for our weather. The extended forecast is for more of the same: cold & snow. Sooner or later, however, Mother Nature will give us a break from shoveling snow and driving on icy roads. The magical transformation from Winter to Spring will occur. We will once again be on the course, a full season will lie ahead, and great things will happen. I can’t wait.