Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

Autumn golf is the best golf

Published

on

For many, golf euphoria occurs the second weekend of April when the flowers start to bloom, courses begin to open, and the biggest tournament of the year is on television. But I believe the absolute best season for golf is the fall.

Let me explain.

SPRING

Spring is the season of hope and rebirth, and for most golfers, it’s the first opportunity to break out new clubs or take the game you’ve been working on all winter to the course for the first time in many months. Depending on where you are in North America or around the world, golf courses are just opening up and the ground is drying out from a winter filled with snow and ice.

Yes, spring is fantastic, you can shrug off the occasional mud ball since it’s probably your first round in four months and you’re willing to cut “the super” some slack for the slow greens, because you’re just happy to be out on terra firma chasing around a little white ball. Your game is rusty. Courses aren’t quite there yet, but it’s golf outside, and you couldn’t be happier.

SUMMER

The dog days. This time of year is when golf courses are the most busy thanks to the beautiful weather. But high temperatures and humidity can be a real deal-breaker, especially for walkers—throw in the weekly possibility for afternoon “out of the blue” thunderstorms, and now you’re sweating and drenched.

Unless you are a diehard and prefer the dew-sweeping pre-7 a.m. tee time when the sun breaks on the horizon, rounds tend to get longer in the summer as courses get busier. And you’ll often find more corporate outings and casual fairweather golfers out for an afternoon of fun—not a bad thing for the game, but not great for pace of play. Summer makes for fantastic course conditions, and with the sun not setting until after 9 p.m. for almost two months, the after-dinner 9 holes are a treat and you take them while you can.

FALL

As much I love nine holes after dinner with eight clubs in a Sunday bag and a few adult beverages in June, nothing compares to the perfect fall day for golf.

The sun’s orbit, paired with Mother Nature, allows you to stay in your warm bed just that little extra, since you can’t play golf when it’s still dark at 6:30 a.m. The warm, but not too warm, temperatures allow you to pull out your favorite classic cotton golf shirts without fear of the uncomfortable sweaty pits. We can’t forget that it’s also the season for every golfer’s favorite piece of apparel: the quarter zip  (#1/4zipSZN).

Courses in the fall are often in the best shape (or at least they should be), since player traffic and corporate tournaments are done for the season. As long as warm afternoons are still the norm, firm and fast conditions can be expected.

Last but not least, the colors—reds, oranges, and yellows—frame the green fairways and dark sand to make them pop in the landscape. Fall is the final chance to get in those last few rounds and create happy thoughts and mental images before the clubs go away for the inevitably cold, dark days of winter.

Fall is meant for golf! So take pictures, smell the smells, and make great swings, because golf season is quickly coming to a close, and now is the time to savor each moment on the course.

Your Reaction?
  • 66
  • LEGIT7
  • WOW2
  • LOL1
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Ryan Barath is a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Over Forty Degrees

    Oct 24, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    It’s all relative to where you live. Fall golf can be absolutely miserable in Northern Wisconsin/Michigan/Minnesota. Highs in 30’s, extensive frost delays, cold rain/sleet/snow, leaves everywhere, no mowing, aerified tees, greens, fairways, and approaches… however fall golf is awesome in southern Wisconsin/Minnesota/Michigan. You wouldn’t think 250 miles would make a difference, think again…

  2. DougE

    Oct 23, 2019 at 10:48 am

    I agree, fall is probably the nicest time to play, at least here in the Mid-Atlantic region. Right now our greens are fast and true. Our fairways are green and lush. The rough is manageable. And the crowds are beginning to subside—a little. Couldn’t ask for better conditions.

    In addition, I can now wear pants again. The 85-100+ degree days kind of required golf shorts all summer. I’m much happier wearing golf pants. So the cooler temps are perfect, plus I get to wear my extensive collection of golf vests now, too. I still miss the late sunsets of June and July, though.

    Yes, I find fall golf great, yet I know what’s around the corner; That dastardly winter. As long as there is no snow and the course is open, I’ll be out there then too…dreaming of fall golf and the long days of summer, while freezing my butt off. I love this game.

  3. SAS

    Oct 23, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Aerating the greens is bad enough, and then doing the fairways as well! Trouble finding balls amongst the leavee, more (natural) litter on the greens. It all slows the pace of play and doesn’t allow playing the game as purely as I prefer. I’d rather be sweaty and play in the summer.

  4. Scott

    Oct 22, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Summer golf is awesome but everything about fall golf is better. The colors, the conditions, talking football, reminiscing on the season. “Stealing” that one extra unusually warm day, the feeling that “this” might be the last round. Fall just seems like a more relaxed time of the year. You don’t have time to jam and rush your entire summer day filled with golf, yard work, then kid event, then family event, etc.

    Fall in the Midwest has always been my favorite time to play.

    If the greens are aerated properly in early September, they are healed within a couple of weeks.

  5. Mardukes

    Oct 22, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Ryan obviously doesn’t golf around Chicagoland. You would guess only the “better” players would be out for sweater golf. That would be wrong. You would guess you you could get around more quickly than usual. Nope. You might even guess those aeration holes would have mended after two week. T’ain’t so. I love fall golf.

  6. dat

    Oct 21, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    It’s one of many reasons the PGA Tour season shouldn’t have been truncated.

  7. Ardbegger

    Oct 21, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Fall golf in the northern areas can be very challenging- courses do not always manage the leaves on the ground, frost delays set back tee times, the weather is more unpredictable, and the bunkers can be like asphalt. I’ll take summer.

  8. Jack Frost

    Oct 21, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Unless you live in the upper midwest. Then it’s summer straight into winter.

  9. blake

    Oct 21, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    good write up. my only beef with fall golf is leaves on the ground and the increased liklihood of losing balls that otherwise would be found.

  10. Jc

    Oct 21, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    I agree with most of this, but you fail to mention fall golf is also when you are most likely to encounter aerated greens meaning other wise good weather and conditions are offset by your ball bouncing along the green in whichever direction it chooses.

  11. JJ

    Oct 21, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Don’t forget that the cooler temps make the grass grow more slowly in the fall, so the staff can get to more of the course and keep it pristine. In turn, the supers can push the line in terms of mower height and speed up the course all over.

    Lower temps are great, but the course conditions are what sets fall apart for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Podcasts

The Gear Dive: Callaway Golf Tour Rep Simon Wood

Published

on

In this episode of The Gear Dive brought to you by Titleist, Johnny sits down with Callaway Golf Tour Rep Simon Wood on MD5, his Top 3 Callaway wedges of all time and the excitement of launching Jaws on Tour.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: Birdie holes and other myths

Published

on

I am an ardent observer of self-destructive things I see golfers do and hear golfers say, and one that really gets me is when I hear someone stand on the tee and proclaim, “This is a birdie hole.”
Really? How do you know when you haven’t even hit your drive yet, much less your approach? If you’re a 12 handicap, let’s say, there are really only 5-6 “par” holes out here; how can you think this one is a “birdie hole”?

This game is tough, and making birdies is the toughest achievement out there. Very few are made without hitting two better-than-average shots, or at least one remarkable one, whether the approach or the putt. Think about that for a minute. You could be a scratch golfer and never make one! Eighteen pars and a bogey or or two will get you to scratch on most courses. If you are an 8 handicap, that means you average about 82 or so, which equates to 8 pars and 10 bogeys in a round – what are you doing thinking about making a birdie at all, much less while on the tee?

My advice is that if you are a 10 handicap or higher, your singular thought on the tee should be to not make a double or higher. Chances are you don’t hit the driver 280-plus and you don’t hit even half the fairways. If you track your rounds, I’d bet you will find a high relativity of drives out of the fairway to doubles (or worse) put on the scorecard.

So let’s assume you got off the tee well, now what? When you face your approach shot, my advice is to figure out which side of the green gives you the best chance of getting up and down and the least odds of facing a short-side difficult pitch. And there’s never anything wrong with targeting the fat middle of the green, regardless of where the pin is located. On most courses, a ball in the dead center of the green will give you a half dozen or more reasonable putts, and the rest will not be overly long or difficult. The next round you play, just stand in the middle of the green after you are done and survey the putt that ball position would have given you.

Here’s another interesting and enlightening drill for you if you find yourself out for a day of learning on the golf course. On each hole, after your drive and approach, play a second ball from the “safe” side of the green, just as if you had missed your approach to this safe side. Then hit a pitch or chip and putt it out. Keep that score on along with the score you actually made and see how you come out.

I’ve been blessed to have played to a low handicap my whole life, and I am an entrepreneur…but I really do not have a gambler personality. On the golf course, I want to have fun, and I’ve learned that trying to save pars from the short side really doesn’t deliver that. If I’m tuned in to my game, I play the safe side of fairways off the tee and the safe side of the hole with my approaches. I make my share of birdies, and keep big numbers and bogeys on short holes to a minimum by taking this approach.

Of course, I find a 73 or 74 with only one or two birdies more fun than a 78 with 3 or 4. You might not.

Your Reaction?
  • 21
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK10

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

Requiem for a push cart

Published

on

I can’t believe it’s over. In the last four years, you have been with me for 3,686 holes. But I understand you are just too tired to go on. Your break is busted. Your wheels rattle. It’s time for you to retire, I understand, but it makes me sad nonetheless; Hogan, my trusted push cart.

It is hard to believe that was 4 years ago! Oh, how the time has passed! How many great memories we have! Hundreds of rounds and thousands of miles. Our amazing travels, playing with great friends, meeting new people, and of course love! I will never forget the first time you meet Mary ClickGear. The way she rolled up, four wheels, wearing that beautiful pink trimmed outfit. How your umbrella all of a sudden burst open and how embarrassed you were. HA! It was amazing, my friend, and I am so glad we got to share the moments together.

There were also the bad times: my struggles with putting yips, then chipping yips, then putting and chipping yips together. Yet through it, you stood resolute beside me.

I also remember your dark times, like when you got called “overweight” at the airport or shortly after how you tried to thrust yourself in a lake (destroying my brand new rangefinder). In these times, I tried to be a source of strength for you and show you how much our time together meant to me.

What I will remember most is your enduring love. During the past four years, many have come and gone (including the M5 irons, the Ping G500 irons, Apex irons, a Ping putter, an Odyssey putter, a long putter, belly putter, three Scotty Camerons, and another Ping putter) but through good and bad, there was one thing I could count on: you. Always steads. Quick to hold my drink or my umbrella. Never judging when I took time for ball-hawking. Always down for a walk, regardless of the weather! A true friend!

That’s why yesterday, our last round together, was so special. I know you were hurting, that right wheel barely holding on and the lingering joint pain, but you never complained. Until the end; you were there for every shot and for that I am truly grateful. I hope you noticed the tears going up 18. They were real and deserved; you were the best push cart ever, my friend!

Your Reaction?
  • 27
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP2
  • OB1
  • SHANK9

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending