Golf in summer and winter

2012-09-28 00:00

IT is now officially spring and the recent rain has transformed our local golf courses. We should be thankful that in this part of the world, we have a climate that allows us to play golf all year round, although winter and summer conditions in KZN are very different. The summer rainfall means that the golf courses are green and lush, and hitting the ball into the rough should be avoided, not only because it is difficult to find, but shots out of deep rough cannot gain much distance. In winter, when there is hardly any rain, it is hard underfoot and with the occasional frost, the grass becomes straw coloured and the rough isn’t a problem at all.

These two contrasting conditions affect golfers in different ways as their preferences vary. Some golfers love winter conditions because the golf ball runs further on the dry fairways and that means that the golfer is able to hit shorter clubs to the greens. However, not everybody likes the course in a hard, dusty and dry condition because the ball is not under control. It sometimes runs too far and many golfers are unable to make that adjustment. The dry conditions also mean that the ball often makes irregular kicks and bounces, sometimes from the middle of the fairway, finding its way into a water hazard or bunker, and where’s the fun in that? The greens in winter are never as good as they are in summer, they become very fast and downhill putts are dreaded by all golfers. Those with suspect putting strokes have a torrid time and become candidates for the yips.

One thing is for sure, the temperature in winter is just about perfect but the ground conditions are not ideal. Therefore, does this mean that it must be better to play in summer? Not necessarily. It’s hotter and humid for one thing, where 18 holes can become more of a test of stamina than a test of golfing skill. The ball doesn’t run as far on the fairways in summer so the golfer is further from the green for the approach shot, consequently longer irons are needed and this obviously makes it more difficult. There are also the thunder storms to contend with, so it’s a case of personal preference.

What season do you prefer?

From the 19th hole

The full circle of life — success

1. At the age of three, success means:

not messing in your pants.

2. At the age of 12, success means:

having friends.

3. At the age of 18, success means:

having a driver’s licence.

4. At the age of 21, success means:

having sex.

5. At the age of 35, success means:

having money.

6. At the age of 55, success means:

having more money.

7. At the age of 60, success means:

having sex.

8. At the age of 70, success means:

having a driver’s licence.

9. At the age of 75, success means:

having friends.

10. At the age of 80, success means:

not messing in your pants.

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