Winter Is Coming: Keep Smiling!

winter golf around the corner

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Historical Museum at Fort Missoula
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By DON WALTER

The golf season is not over yet, but I can see the end from here. My mood is, well, souring. 

This year I’m trying something different, however. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to journal all the fun I had golfing this summer. I’ll log all the people I met while picking up games at my home course, or great golfers I met while playing tournaments. I’ve encountered some very interesting folks.

A casual round of golf at my course can be kind of a lottery, as far as who you get sent out on the course with. When I was a kid, we had a starter (the guy who calls up the tee times and pairs up golfers), named Tony. I remember Tony as a super nice guy who always went out of his way to pair up a small-statured pre-teen with unsuspecting tourists visiting from somewhere else. He knew I would put on my ambassador’s hat and be rewarded with a hot dog or soda at the half-way house, for being so entertaining. Boy did I meet some doozies! 

There was the couple wearing matching pink flamingo outfits, or the two younger guys trying to polish a fifth by the 18th hole. I think just meeting people from all walks kept me interested in golf then, and still does today.

Tournament golf is definitely a different experience. The golfers you’re paired with are usually the same handicap or ability, so it adds another element. It’s competitive, it’s nerve racking, and it’s addictive. Everyone playing is trying to do their best and be at the top of their game. It’s golf on another level.

I remember the gentleman who claimed he was not on his game, but proceeded to beat everyone by 10 strokes. And who can forget the uber-competitive golfer struggling through the front nine and grabbing a six-pack for the back nine? On days when my best game doesn’t shine through, I still get excited for the next round. That’s when I meet the most interesting people. 

Winter Is Coming

I will unfortunately become a golf-deprived grump when winter arrives. As the years go on, I think what I start to miss as much as golf, itself, are the people. Logging those individuals in my journal will help me remember them forever. Oh, if they only knew! 

If I met you on the golf course this summer, I hope it was as much of a joy for you, as it was for me, spending a quality five hours on the links and doing something we really enjoy. Keep smiling! MSN

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