Sunday’s dip in temperature and the howling winds that sent a chill through the air was the only hint I needed that summer was over. Not that summer which ends sometime in September, but rather the summer my guy friends refer to as “the Summer of Golf”.
As you well know, golf is among my passions — for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s the game, the camaraderie or the way it creates that private time with that someone special in your life, golf is the way I choose to spend most of my free time each summer.
This summer was filled with fairways highlights. There was my best friend, Big Joe, and his buddies as we ventured to Augusta, Georgia to witness the final round of the Masters. Then, back here on local soil, Sharon and I joined some of our good friends for the final round of the US Open at Oakmont and stood right behind Tiger as he attempted to drop the putt that would force a playoff – and came up short.
Then there were the actual rounds. I played in Myrtle Beach and Maui and West Palm Beach and western Pennsylvania. I played in Maryland, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Just within an hour driving distance, I teed it up at Birdsfoot in Freeport, Mystic Rock in Farmington, Beaver Lakes in Aliquippa, the Madison Club in Westmoreland county and Lone Pine in Washington county. I shot the best round of my – an 86 – on two separate occasion and if I had not had a brain freeze on a blazing September day in Maui, I might have beaten that score.
However, what I will remember most is not the scores but the moments with friends and family spent on the fairways. The moments when we chatted, when we joked, when we cheered and when we cursed. Maybe that is what has always excited me about this game. There is no other sport that I know where it’s an individual game, but it takes a group to make it fun.
So now I will likely pack away the clubs later this week. I may be able to squeeze in a round here and there on that rare 60 degree day in December or January, but I will look forward to the chance to tee it up again — with friends, family and foes. The chance to start the summer of golf all over again.