The Silly Season for Golf
Some people call it â€œsilly season.â€ People are still playing golf during the off-season, of course, but none of the big stuff is happening, and the LPGA is taking a little longer breath before they visit the Bahamas.
When football bowl season ends, itâ€™s ok for a little while. I need at least a little break – but with golf, I donâ€™t get exhausted long-term. Iâ€™m always ready for the next tournament. But, there isnâ€™t really a next tournament for a little while, not really. So, what shall we talk about?
Well, letâ€™s see – Michelle Wie hit Gary Player in the stomach, but she didnâ€™t really mean to – Gary was Jack Lalanning around and put her up to it showing off his abs, courtesy of over half a century of push-ups – now if Gary had hit Michelle, that would be news. I know heâ€™s terrific, but with it being off-season, Iâ€™m just not in the mood.
What else, what else? – Oh yes, a flood in Australia delivered two bull sharks to a course pond, increasing my feeling that golf within a thousand or so miles on either side of the equator should be outlawed until animal control has made a complete sweep of the area.
In my neck of the woods, and I really do live in the woods, I spent part of the holidays driving around some of my favorite country, and looking at some of my snow-bound mountain courses at 5,000 feet and higher. I am told that above 5,000 feet, things get a little dicey for the un-acclimated lungs. I was a regular feature on Rainier when I was young, but now I have to admit it – itâ€™s true. Even walking around up there, itâ€™s true. So how high can you really play golf?
Peru used to hold the record with a club at well over 14,000 feet. I guess you can hit a drive there that makes Tigerâ€™s efforts look lazy, but Iâ€™d have to swing with an oxygen tank on my back. Bolivia holds the current record at 10,800 feet, since the Peru course is now overgrown – so say the miners who own it. There is a course rumored to sit high in the Himalayas, courtesy of a group of Indian Army Engineers, but no thanks. The United States and Canada boast a lot of courses over six or seven thousand. Tahoe is only 6,200, but what a gorgeous miles-across water hazard. China has one in Yunaan province at 10,000 – but thatâ€™s not really what interests me. I want to know how far I can hit it, do I have to pull off of a putt to decrease distance – can I swing something over my head easier than I can at lower elevations? Could I breathe? Would the carb on my golf cart engine make it, or would I need solar or electric?
I can think of one advantage to high altitude golf – playing above timberline. Trees of every make have been my nemesis since I first started playing. Trees are for camping under, not hitting around – good riddance.
Whoever said that if they put a flag on Mt. Everest, somebody would give it a try, was right. We diehards arenâ€™t just into golf. We wonâ€™t do without it. So hang on until the Bahamas, when weâ€™ll finally have something of substance to talk about . Meanwhile, get those sharks off that course, really. Think it through! And until then, weâ€™ll be glad Gary Player didnâ€™t ask Suzann Pettersen to hit him. That might have been a little nasty.