- Thermals – check
- Waterproofs – check
- Bobble hat – check
- Mittens – check
Just some of the pre-round routine undertaken by the millions of golfers who brave all conditions to pursue their passion in the colder months.
These days, year round golf seems like the norm. We turn on our TVs and watch the PGA Tour’s wraparound season, providing an 11 month schedule of tournament golf. But aside from freak snow in the Arizona desert and Jordan Spieth being forced to tip a beanie at a nippy Copperhead, the pros are seldom seen battling conditions with the severity that recreational golfers often face. For us, it’s less wraparound season, more wrap-up season.
For amateurs, golf in the winter is a completely different beast from the shirt sleeved, temperate pursuits of the traditional spring/summer season. It presents challenges to the golfer’s physicality as well as to the game itself. Perished hands, watering eyes and layers of swing restricting clothing. Meet heavy lies, frozen greens. And mudballs.
But whilst hardy golfers juggle their umbrellas and carry bags, what kind of balancing act are the greenkeepers having to do, just to try and get golf played in the first place?
This was the question Jack and Stu wanted to address in our Winter Golf video, as Jack explains…
Winter. Time seems to move more slowly and days pass with very little changing on the course. A major role of the greenkeepers during the winter is to protect the course. And ultimately, this leads to restrictions on golfers and their rounds of golf.
It effectively becomes a lose-lose-win situation. Greenkeepers lose the conditions for the course to heal (and sometimes the patience of their members). Golfers may lose access to the full course (and sometimes the vision to see beyond their round that day). But the win for everyone is that the course needs less recovery and remedial work come the spring.
It should not be a “them against us” situation. Greenkeepers want golfers to enjoy playing during the winter. It’s good for business. And a happy membership leads to a happy working environment for all. Working together is ultimately best for the course and all involved.
Which is why we wanted to make a video which offered golfers a little insight into why certain restrictions are placed on the course during the colder months. But also one which could be used by other greens teams to share with their memberships, to promote a greater understanding.
There followed a period of discussion, in which the Turf’s Up Producer vetoed ideas such as “Let’s explain G.U.R. doesn’t mean ‘Go Under Ropes!'” and “There’s no winter rule which states tee markers should be disregarded!”. But we eventually came up with the video above. And reaped revenge on the Producer by getting him to stand in icy water up to his knees…