New England is one of the most beautiful places in the world for fall golf. Yes, it can be chilly and based on the temperature today, one might say it’s really late fall and quickly approaching the chilly days of winter! Well we New Englanders know better than to even utter the words winter when there’s still golf left to be played. I’ve been out there and can attest, that as long as the wardrobe includes a combination of polypropylene, a turtle neck, fleece and wind pants, playing golf can be quite enjoyable.
One of the best thing fall golf offers players is latitude and freedom. I’m sure you’re wondering, “what could she possibly mean by that?!” Well, it’s really about how we frame our expectations for our golf game at this time of the year. We look at it a bit differently here in New England especially when the temperature dips below 55 degrees (for some that number is 60), the wind is blowing 20mph out of the east and we’re deciding whether or not to hit the links. Maybe we haven’t been out to play for a few days, it’s been pretty chilly after all and we’ve been cleaning the garage instead of hitting balls at the range. Yet, when the meteorologist predicts a temperature somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 degrees, we New Englanders say things like, “It’s a bonus day today! I’m going out to play 9!” Now, if you’ve lived here long enough, you realize what the meteorologist meant to say was that it will be 50 degrees for only about 3 minutes sometime between 1:45pm and 2:38pm. Be that as it may, you bundle up and head out anyway.
Here’s where the latitude and freedom come into play. A very interesting thing happens when you play fall golf. You head to the range to warm up before you go out to play. The pre-round range time should always be a true “warm up” to play rather than a practice session to work on mechanics. Golfers seem to be better at doing this in the fall. You put less pressure on your shots on the range and you focus on actually warming up your body and your swing. You’re not as likely to work something out this time of year rather, you shift your focus more on the target at the range. After all, it is a bonus day! You just want to hit the ball where you want it to go.
On the course, you put less pressure on yourself for scoring and are just happy to be out there this time of year. “Isn’t it great to be out here this late in the season!” you say to yourself as you happily go from hole to hole. You give yourself more latitude to try different things and you also give yourself more freedom to play with what you have for that day.Your attitude is a happier one and your performance expectations are a bit more relaxed. There’s also more freedom in your play based on the relaxed demand on performance. In fact, you’re experimenting with different shots using different clubs because you think to yourself, “what the heck…it’s a bonus day and I’ve always wanted to try that run up shot to the green using a hybrid.” You find yourself taking more club and you’re hitting more shots onto the green! Fall golf seems to allow players the opportunity to just relax and enjoy playing the game. Something to ponder, don’t you think? So, if you get a chance to play between now and when the snow flies, bundle up and venture out with the latitude and freedom of fall golf! Here’s to the next “Bonus Day” and here’s to channeling fall golf all year long! Cheers!