Thursday, January 05, 2006 at 9:15 PM
Don't Rain on My Parade!
Camping out to watch the Rose Parade is an annual ritual for many parade enthusiasts. I can't relate since I can simply roll out of bed and walk a couple of blocks to see it in person. Usually, the weather is nice and I can enjoy the parade in leisurely fashion. However, I hate the rain almost as much as the Wicked Witch of the West. With this year's weather, I didn't even bother waking up in time to watch the parade live on TV.
I have a similar reaction when it comes to golf. You have to pay me for me to play golf in the rain. Golf in the rain is just miserable. Not only is everything wet, but freezing temperatures and strong winds usually accompany those little droplets of hell. I remember when I lived in Philadelphia, my friends and I would play in the rain on the cusp of winter in a desperate attempt to get in that one last round of the season. I'd try to protect myself with layered clothing, a rain suit, winter gloves, etc., but it always seemed that my efforts came up a little short. I'd still get wet and cold, each and every time. Just thinking about it sends chills up my spine. On top of that, all that winter gear restricted my swing to the point where I wasn't really playing golf. What the heck was I thinking?
Now that I have moved back to California, I don't anticipate being so golf-deprived that I feel forced to play in the rain. But sometimes, it happens. Such was the case the first time I played storied Torrey Pines on a weekend golf trip with 3 of my friends. We had descended upon this golf Mecca from all over the country: LA, Philly, NYC, and Phoenix. We pulled a few strings to reserve 2 coveted tee times for that weekend. Needless to say, we were going to play no matter what.
As I expected, those jealous Golf Gods took notice and sent some rain clouds our way. About 20 mins. before our tee time rain started falling under a subfusc sky. In defiance, we gritted our teeth and marched to the first tee. But the Golf Gods arranged a special deal with Mother Nature to unleash the worst weather upon us short of a tsunami. We were forced off the course after several holes.
It was one of the lowest points of my golf life. Was our super golf weekend going to be washed away by the rain? Was all of our effort and careful planning all for naught? We huddled by the fire in the Lodge pondering the situation. I thought about drowning my sorrows in a glass of Glenmorangie. But after about 45 mins. the rain stopped! The sun even shot a couple of rays through the thinning clouds.
We immediately scrambled to the first tee to get in as many holes as we could. Thankfully, we were the first to arrive and the starter told us we could start wherever we wanted. We tore up our old score cards and began anew from the 1st tee. It turned out that the rain washed away the other golfers and we finished our round in under 4 hours. It was like having Torrey Pines all to ourselves!
So sometimes, the rain can be a blessing in disguise. But mostly, it's not.
I guess the "blessing in disguise" was that they didn't allow cars to park on Brookside!!!
Living in Seattle for 4 years, you certainly get used playing in a little precipitation. I actually kinda liked it. I enjoy the added challenge of rain. Don't get me wrong, there is a limit, but being out on a quiet course with just your bag and mother nature is something I have always loved.
When I was a kid I used to sneak out on a private club in the late evenings. I would be out there all alone. Just me, my rig, the course, and some widlife. There is something very spiritual about that for me, and a little misty rain always made for an even more spectacular setting.
Once, last fall, I was playing in Bellevue Washington after work. It was about 4 or 5 o'clock and there was a light rain. I was out there all alone until I got to the 4th where a coyote joined me for a couple of holes hunting squirrels and rabbits along the side of the fairway. The rain and the mist only added to the incredible adventure.
Ahhhhh....the romance of golf.
I didn't know there were others out there that didn't play in the rain. I know if I were at one of the great courses for a weekend like that I would try to play. Living here in Florida I just have too many days to play and a rainy day just isn't one of them. A club sliped out of my hand once and that was the last of my rain play.
Golf Grouch said...
You know what's worse than a little rain?
Good friend of mine, my best man actually, was given a round at Pebble Beach as an X-mas gift from his mother in 2004. Same as his 2 brothers and thier father. Only 1 the 4 I would consider a "casual" golfer.
They all planned a nice family vacation to Monterey for sometime last fall and booked a "good" tee time. I think it was last September maybe.
They got to the course plenty early on a spectacular day. I can only imagine the excitment someone would feel before a round on a course like that on a day like that.
They were early enough to sit down and enjoy a nice breakfast in the lodge.
So, I'm told, that about half way through thier meal, my pal glances out the window to the nearby green (18 I guess) and sees a maintenance guy doing what looks like punching the greens!
They had been told by the course that it was in spectacular shape and there was no aeration scheduled. Apparently the greenskeeper just did it randomly.
That would piss me off a hell of a lot more than rain.
One thing about Socal is that mist is sometimes mistaken for rain, so when we're being deluged with mist, golfers will stay away and, like the Grouch at Torrey Pines, a course can be had all to oneself. Now for some shameless self-promotion. I've got a survey on my blog (actually, a link to survey) which can be accessed from this link (or the link on the left the Grouchy Golf, Wounded Duck) which I'll post the results of after a few weeks. If anyone wants to participate, I'd be thankful. I'll also be adding questions as the drugs kick in and provide me with more.
© Golf Grouch 2006