Golf season in Michigan nears its end, now what? Here’s where all golfers can relate

Hand warmers, double gloves and a beanie just don’t cut it

Face it, we've all been here before. (Pexels)

Well it’s about that time. Sure, everyone always says “we may get a warm weekend though! Don’t rule out golf season just yet.”

It’s November, accept it.

It’s impossible to get your tee into the ground, the air is frigid, your hands slowly turn to icicles and golf courses are closing. Here we go again! It’s a struggle that all of us die-hard golfers in Michigan deal with every winter. This season, we were fairly lucky as it was an early start to the season (I was playing at the end of March, if I recall). That luck rolled all the way into October, though fall golf has its pros and cons, such as:

Leaves. We loved them as a kid. Jumped into massive piles of them, threw them up in the air like LeBron during his pre-game routine, and the smell of neighbors burning them as it wafts down the street. There’s nothing like it.

They don’t belong on a golf course.

Golf in the fall is overrated

At the end of every golf season, I always look forward to playing in the fall, there’s just something so comforting about it. But I always forget about the leaves. Just when you think you blasted your drive 250 yards straight down the fairway, your ball is nowhere to be found. You find yourself searching frantically through the leaves, all while wasting the precious daylight you have left. At this point, you probably take your free ‘leaves’ drop because “you swear you hit a great drive right down the middle and it definitely should be in the fairway but it’s just not here”.

Riddle me this, too. Why do you think playing with orange or neon balls in the fall makes it easier to find them? For starters, I can’t stand people that prefer playing with a colored or neon ball because it’s “easier to see in the air” (story for another day). It’s so much easier to find a white ball in the leaves than an orange one. Hopefully, we can all agree on that one.

Leaves can also be beautiful, it’s a blessing and a curse. If you’re lucky to hit the links up north, the views in the peak of fall are spectacular, but it acts almost like a consolation prize. Sure, golf season is coming to its inevitable end, but hey, at least you get to look at beautiful leaves to help ease the pain of your round filled with double bogeys!

As far as I know, I believe I squeezed my last round in last week. While it was one of those random days in the fall when it’s magically warm, I accepted that my last putt on 18 would be my final one till *fingers crossed* the end of March. While the weather for the next few days actually looks pretty good, it’s time to wrap it up. Wearing a hoodie and a pullover, double gloves and two pairs of socks isn’t worth it. Why make the most difficult game in the world even harder? Golf wasn’t meant to be played with your entire wardrobe on.

So now what? How to get your fix

Golf simulators become the Midwest’s favorite pastime in the winter. Sure, it allows us to be with friends, drink some beer and the opportunity to play a virtual course that we’ll never shell out the $400 greens fee for. Hitting a bad shot in a simulator has little to no effect on your sanity (wait till you have to putt), but they can get old fast. You’d rather be out with your friends playing than swing for the fences into a screen.

Some golf courses live by the rule that they stay open until it starts snowing. Just close already! If you’re out there playing on a freezing cold day, maybe it’s time to take on the role of a snowbird, if you can afford that luxury.

The best bet to keep your golf game alive in the dead of winter is hit to hit the range. Cozy up in your favorite pair of sweatpants, throw on a hoodie and make your way over to your nearest driving range. It’s another reminder as to how thankful you are for heating lamps.

Topgolf in Auburn Hills is also a great option. If case you didn’t know, you can play on Tuesdays for half the price. Doesn’t matter if you’re playing in the morning or in the evening, it’s half-off all day long. Plus, the food there is surprisingly good. Topgolf makes for a great night out, but if you’re looking to strictly work on your game, you’re better off hitting the range, not eating a cheeseburger in between swings.

At this point, you just need to be patient. Take the off-season off to do some bargain hunting on a used club. The best deals on golf gear and apparel come at the end of the season or in the dead of winter. New sets are released, and the big-name companies are looking to get rid of their old inventory at a fair price. It goes without saying that golf equipment is expensive, but any amount saved definitely helps.

You may find yourself going down a rabbit hole of golf YouTube videos (the classic “how to break 90″ video that doesn’t hold true to its name) old highlights of Tiger, or reminisce on the “Brooksie” days. It all helps, but it doesn’t beat being out on the course.

So take this time to get back in the gym to work your legs and core, and get ready for next season. In due time, you’ll find yourself frustrated on the links once again.

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