Summer Golf – Why?
Last updated 8/21/2018 at 12:42pm
It’s August. Hot and humid. Why would any golfer want to go out and play in temps near 105-F and humidity upwards of 60%? Because friends wanted a foursome, that’s why. How can a true friend refuse? I sure couldn’t.
At least I couldn’t three days ago. But Saturday Aug. 18, I passed on a game. I said I had an article to write plus another on a music group at La Casa del Zorro, all before submission deadline. That’s how I got out of it, anyway.
The truth is that three days ago, I came close to collapse playing a round out at the Borrego Springs Resort with those same golf buddies. It was so hot and humid that even my individual sweat beads were perspiring. The only relief came intermittently, when my sweat-soaked golf shirt acted like a swamp cooler as I picked up a headwind in the golf cart. Those were but temporary and all too brief periods of relief between shots.
With a handicap of 12, I was only 4-over par going into the par-4 7th hole. A double-bogey made short work of that prior success, despite the first of two bottles of Gatorade helping with severe electrolyte loss.
On #8, a decent drive left me 125 yards short of the green. As I took my swing, I could both see and feel a drop of sweat dripping off my nose, and the sudden loss of body weight obviously contributed to striking the ball two dimples high. It landed wide of the pin and rolled into a bunker.
For my sand shot, I still did not adjust to the loss of fluid content and once again skulled the ball two dimples high, the ball shooting down the green into the front-side green bunker.
Never one to under-compensate for a bad shot, I hit the next shot fat, and it landed just outside the sand trap three feet away. The next was a chip shot under normal circumstances, but I was fearful of a miss. I figured that only my putter would, with the correct power and line, get me close to the pin on a double-breaking downhill/side hill 2-putt to save a double bogey. I came up way short and managed to turn it into a triple.
At that point, whatever weight reduction I felt with a loss of fluids was more than made up for with the psychologically added weight of depression after that triple. Dragging myself to the golf cart in the heat and humidity felt like I was carrying an additional 50 pounds of weights.
I’m not sure what happened on the 9th hole; all I knew was that we were coming up on the halfway point in the round, I was tired and sweating profusely, and I needed a good drive and approach shot to keep me going, physically and psychologically. Somehow I managed both, and I birdied the par-4 hole thanks to a 30-yard approach shot that miraculously landed four feet from the pin. Maybe I dreamed it, but the card shows birdie and sweat stains, so that’s that.
Only by sheer determination did I drop four strokes off my front-nine, ending at #18 with an 84, 13 over par. That finishing hole couldn’t come fast enough. My two regular playing partners played to their handicaps. Our fourth player was a bit of a novice, and I didn’t keep his score, but he was close to exhaustion by game’s end.
So, did we have fun? No, but considering the playing conditions, we did well to finish without ambulance assistance.