Since moving to Charlotte, one of the questions I get most from my Chicago friends is: "How's the golf game?"
Well, in 2011, I didn't know ... until yesterday.
That's right: Despite great weather all spring and a pretty nice winter, too, I didn't play my first round of the year until the last day of May.
The combination of all the stuff I had to do to get our recently purchased house habitable, my coaching gigs and, most recently, our new puppy Simcha left me just enough free time to not quite be able to justify 4-hour rounds of golf.
In fact, since moving here last August, I had played very few courses. (Of course, I did play a ton on one course -- the one at which I worked last fall.)
Anyway, on a whim yesterday, I grabbed a discount mid-afternoon tee time -- knowing that even if the round took a little longer than I wanted it to, my wife would be home in time to keep our puppy's bladder from bursting.
It was 95 degrees, one of the hottest late-May days in recent Charlotte history. It wasn't bad, though, because humidity was only about 195 percent.
Yep, here in North Carolina, it's a wet heat.
Normally, I prefer walking. But a cart was included in the rate and I gladly accepted.
Because it was such a sweltering day and it was a Tuesday afternoon, I practically had the course to myself. And playing surprisingly well -- which for me means that my missed fairways weren't too wild, my yanked irons didn't fly O.B. and my skulled chips didn't skitter across greens into the water hazards -- I played the front in 1 hour, 11 minutes. Nice!
After carding a 44 (which on a grown-up, 6400-yard course and having not played all year is pretty darn good for this hack), I opened the back triple-double-quad. Oy. Nine over on three holes tends to slow down a round. A string of bogeys (a.k.a. "Nadel pars") followed, and I finished with a 51 on the back for a 95.
Not horrible for me, especially considering my three-hole meltdown. And with the round taking only 2 hours, 36 minutes to complete, I even got home before my wife -- much to the relief of Simcha.
So, how's my golf game? Same as it's been for years: a good shot or two every hole (enough to fool me into thinking I might actually be better than horsebleep someday) and a bad shot or two every hole (enough to bring me back to reality).
Consistently inconsistent describes it best.
But it's golf, or at least my version of it, and I it felt great to swing a club again.