Golfers in southern Nevada are blessed with a nearly year round golf season, with the only real reason one could not go out and play would be reseeding season. With the recent bizarre wintry blusters the plight of the golfing population in areas with actual winter conditions came to mind. Consider this: as winter temperatures plummet and remain below freezing and snow actually continues to accumulate the golf course and open air range must, by necessity, close.
Yes, I have muttered the phrase “It’s in the 40’s- it’s too cold to golf,” but there are those valiant die-hards that will not let snow and ice prevent playing a round. Greenland has held the World Ice Golf Championship since 1999, complete with an orange ball and hole drilled into the ice of the putting green, aptly renamed ‘whites’ instead of ‘greens.’ If you have ever searched for a golf ball in snow, you would understand the reason behind the orange ball. (Thank you, Reno for the experience of golfing in the snow, and Alaska for a midnight tee time.)
At such temperatures and with such bulky clothing the fluid, languid poetry of the golf swing become kinked into the bare essentials of straight-back, straight-through, with the prayer of some sort of normal ball flight in the shortened follow-through. Some ranges remain open for the brave golfers to hit off AstroTurf within their sheltered cubes out into a snowy field Steve Stricker style.
Golf in winter months does not have to be as drastic as seen in the arctic tundra of Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Great Lakes region, where complete indoor domed driving ranges allow golfers to remain in form even if not on the course. Then there’s always the go to indoor simulators – simulated golf is better than no golf – and the putt-putt greens. There are grand dreams of an entirely enclosed golf course, likely an executive course, in the Netherlands.
So next time you see the forecast for weather in the 40’s, think of those poor blokes and don’t cancel your tee time. If you really can’t take the chill try walking or some jumping jacks and pushups between shots to keep warm.