I came here from Kamloops a few years ago, where around the time that the kids are getting ready to go back to school (so…now-ish) it was also time to lament the imminent closure of the region’s golf courses.
Okay, I may be overstating it, a bit, but you could certainly feel that it was coming.
But when I arrived on Vancouver Island, that was no longer a thing.
September is not a time to start thinking about how many more rounds you’ll be able to squeeze in before the courses close, it’s a time to take stock of how your game has developed so far this season and re-focus on what you still want to accomplish in your game.
I mean, there are courses here that actually close down at some point – but not for a little while yet – and many don’t close at all (they obviously don’t open on days when there’s frost on the ground, though), so this time of year could be a good time to say things like, “I’ve gotten better off the tee, but my short game has been slipping,” and look to improve that part of your game over the course of the next few months.
Or maybe it’s time to just start having fun.
That’s what it was for me come this time of the year out in the interior.
Every year, going into the season in April or May, I would set some kind of goal for myself.
Sometimes it was as vague as “I’m going to get better at putting this year,” and other times is was as specific as “I want to shoot four scores under 85 this year,” or “I want to play a whole round with the same ball.”
(I don’t think any of those things ever happened, by the way)
But about now, heading into and playing throughout September, I’d realize that I was once again unsuccessful at “working on my game,” and should just enjoy being out there.
And so now that I have a longer season, I appreciate that I have that thought around the same time of the year, so I have more opportunity to just play the game, not worrying about whether I’m getting better at it or not.
Not worrying about my score.
Not worrying about whether I lose a couple (or half-dozen) golf balls while I’m out there. After all, they’ll probably be going on sale soon and I can re-stock my bag.
It’s nice, and I encourage everyone else to look at it that way a little more often, as well.
Maybe go out and hit nine holes with just a 5-wood, an 8-iron and a putter.
Maybe play the game I invented a couple years ago with my friends where the winner of a hole gets to decide which club the entire group has to tee off with on the next.
I mean, this game is supposed to be fun, right? Now’s the time of year to remember that.
Also, golf is getting cheaper these days, with courses moving to their “shoulder season” rates, so why not take the game a little less seriously while you’re paying less to be out there?
See you on the links, even if we’ll be wearing sweaters and rain jackets.
Maybe bring extra socks.