Feed Your Addiction to Golf in the Off Season

Feed Your Addiction to Golf in the Off Season
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By DON WALTER

I’ve been denying my true addiction to golf for many years, but, as I grow older, it seems to be coming to light.

I’ve never been the guy who has goofy bumper stickers like, “I would rather be driving a Titleist,” or have a desk full of golf tchotchkes, but in my quiet moments, I usually am thinking about the last round I played, or when I am going to play again.

The winter season can be a tormenting time for golf addicts. We can go months without being able to watch the ball fly.

Sure, you can find one of those indoor simulators, or putt across the carpet in the basement, but it’s not a real fix.

The daily torment from seeing the sacred ground of the golf course covered in mountains of snow is real for folks addicted to golf.

Where I live, in northwest Montana, we have at least 10 championship quality golf courses within an hour’s travel time. But when the snow falls, and I drive past my favorite holes, day in and day out, and memories come flooding back of how I saved par from the trees, or snaked in that long birdie putt on that hot sunny day, eventually I lose it.

I’ve even thought of hitting a patch of black ice that would slide me through the fence and into trouble on the course again.

I need the ups and downs, the highs and lows. I need golf.

To ease my mind, I get online, start calling friends, and beg for that golf fix I know is just a long drive or short flight away.

Arriving in a warm climate with golf clubs in hand creates mixed emotions.

Yes I’m here, but it’s been several months since I’ve played. Do I even remember how to hit a golf ball?

It’s like riding a bike. The sun on your face and a cold drink from the beverage cart will straighten things out in no time.

Remember, everyone in the group is feeling the same way. Keep the expectations in check and relish the fact you’re playing golf in winter. Do it!

Skip the excuses and feed the golf addiction.

Take that golf trip, and you’ll create laughter and memories to carry you through until the home course opens.

Besides planning an escape from the mountains of continuous falling snow, we also need activities to keep us from feeling the confinement of our homes and offices.

Last winter I discovered a stretching routine that anyone can do. (Stick with me here.) When I decided to give it a try, my expectations were low.

After the first few weeks, I was a little sore from the stretching, and my ego was sore from the lack of effort my body would give.

I stuck with it though, using the determination of someone trying to lose the shanks after a Saturday round disaster. Eventually, while distracting myself with golf on TV, the stretching became a routine, and I didn’t feel so hopeless.

As the opening day arrived, I watched my friends shake off their winter stiffness. I held my breath and took a few swings. What’s this?

My shoulders were loose, my lower back felt relaxed. I had done it! The progress I made with my golf exercises helped me survive another winter, and I would say it was easier than trying to lose weight!

I reveled in the ire of my golf buddies, who saw me go from winter to golf-ready with ease.

We’ll get through this together. Try some stretching, cajole your friends into a golf trip on a long weekend. Winter will give way…eventually.

Check back for the next issue, where I’ll tackle another golf addiction and cover some of the new HOT LIST golf equipment of 2021. And here’s the link to the stretching routine I tried, created by Greg Norman. MSN