With spring on the fairways, players will have to adjust their game accordingly

2013-10-18 00:00

WE are now a number of weeks into spring in this part of the world and although we haven’t had much rain yet, the golf courses are gradually turning green. For golfers this is always welcome after our dry winter. The greens have had the necessary preparation for the growing season and spring treatment differs slightly according to the different types of grass that courses have on their greens.

Very soon the greens will be lush with growth and the mowers will be adjusted lower to ensure that they are smooth and fast.

The fairways too will need cutting more regularly and there is quite a difference in playing conditions between summer and winter.

The ball doesn’t run as far on summertime fairways so those golfers who are short off the tee, or distance challenged as they say, will have to get used to hitting longer irons for their approach shots to the green. Another adjustment that golfers have to make, now that summer is approaching, is chipping onto the green.

These differences between summer and winter are a part of the game, but we should remember and be grateful that here, in southern Africa, we have the luxury of playing golf all the year round. In the northern hemisphere some courses close for the winter. To many of us, that’s inconceivable. No golf for months, how awful. Can you imagine how excited golfers in that part of the world must feel when spring arrives and the courses re-open. Golfers’ wives probably welcome spring too; it gets the cooped-up grumpy husbands, suffering from cabin fever, out of the house and out of the way.

There is one aspect of the northern hemisphere seasons that we should be envious of; it’s those evenings in summer when the sun doesn’t set until very late. There is sufficient daylight to play 18 holes after work and still have time to walk the dog.

Some courses don’t close during winter and only the real fanatics are happy to play in those bitterly cold temperatures. It becomes more of a test of endurance than a test of skill, not to mention having to putt on temporary winter greens and play off winter tees, which are usually just a square metre of astro-turf.

So even though our conditions greatly vary from winter to summer, we should be thankful that our courses aren’t closed for winter.

From the 19th hole

Three old golfers, Sam, Harry and Fred, were sitting together after their weekly game of golf. These are some of the things they were overheard saying to each other:

Sam said, “Things are getting really bad these days. Yesterday bank robbers were mugged on their way to their getaway car.”

Harry said, “A man asked the barman, ‘Do you serve women in this bar?’ The barman said, ‘No, you have to bring your own’.”

Fred said: “A barman asked a customer, ‘Do you always drink your whisky neat?’ The customer said, ‘No, sometimes my shirt is hanging out.’”

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