It’s that time of year when back in the day, me and my golfing buddies would brave the elements all in the name of golf and what we considered fun. These days I just have to contend with extreme heat, thunderstorms & cheeky monkeys pinching my beer from time to time, but when living in blighty, wind, rain, sleet, snow & fog would be the order of the day.
Dressed more appropriately for an episode of “The Deadliest catch” rather than a day on the links, we would attempt to rotate our bodies around 2 base layers, 3 jumpers and our waterproofs, slowly but surely losing all feeling in our hands over the next 4 hours, how was this ever fun.
The pinnacle of this madness was back in 1992, when the two Dave’s persuaded me to join them one Saturday morning mid-December, for 18 holes on their course just outside York, which had the river Ouse winding through the middle of the course. As I scraped the ice of my window screen at 7am, I was very tempted to turn around and go back to bed, however, one should never let their golfing buddies down, we made plans, we stuck to them pre-mobile phone days.
As I got closer to the course in question, I noticed that my visibility had been reduced to 50 yards, probably due to that age-old science of -5 degrees + a body of still water = freezing fog. On pulling into the club car park, I recall being amazed at the number of cars there full of huddled golfers were waiting for the pro-shop to open, apparently madness was a common thing in Yorkshire.
Twenty minutes later, the three of us stood on the first tee looking into the abyss of fog, wondering how on earth we would find our balls. Now the funny thing with freezing fog is that the deathly silence has the strange effect of amplifying all the sharp noises we experience in golf, like thud, clonk and spladoosh. As our balls sailed off the tees and disappear 50 meters later, we just waited for the resulting sound and head in that direction, find said balls, scrape off the ice and play on. Three hours and 22 holes later, it was quite remarkable how many balls manage to retain, apart from that is on a dog leg par 5 around the river, where it was near on impossible to find a line. Five spladooshes later, we just dropped and carried on.
Despite not being able to have practice swings, as ice would instantly form on the face of your club, looking for balls that basically disappear for 95% of the round and nearly killing the group in front on 3 occasions, we did have a thoroughly good time, had respectable scores and vowed never to do it again, the box had been ticked.
So now, when folk complain about the heat in Singapore, I just remind them that they don’t know how lucky they are and get on with it.
What are the most extreme conditions you have endured all in the name of golf, I’d be interested to hear your stories of madness – dapper dan