This morning, eight of us played at Tunxis Plantation. We arrived at 7:30 and stood around talking and drinking coffee for an hour and a half (first photo), as we waited for the frost to melt (second photo) and for the golf shop to open. When the all-clear sounded, we teed off first and, with no one ahead of us, played as fast as we do at home.
I had trouble sleeping last night, as I often do before I play golf. Even now, twenty years after I took up the game, waiting for golf still feels like waiting for Santa Claus. During the season, I set my alarm for 6:00 on Sunday mornings—unnecessarily, because I’m usually awake and squinting at the dial by 5:00 or 5:30, if not by 4:00: isn’t it time to put on my golf clothes yet? I click off the clock a few minutes before it would have buzzed, and tiptoe downstairs without waking my wife.
Six or seven years ago, during my Sunday Morning Group’s annual end-of-season trip to Atlantic City, Hacker (real name) got up, took a shower, woke up his roommate and told him to take a shower, went down to the lobby of the hotel where we were staying, sat in the dark in the empty coffee shop for a while, and then looked at his watch more closely and realized it was 3:30, not 6:30. Hacker has trained himself to wake up without an alarm clock, but he loves golf so much that his internal timekeeping mechanism sometimes jumps a few hours ahead. In Pinehurst once, he got up, took a shower, woke up his roommate and told him to take a shower, went downstairs in the house where they were staying, and found a couple of guys in the living room drinking beer and watching TV. “Kind of early for that, isn’t it, guys?” Actually, no: it was just a little past midnight, an hour after Hacker and his roommate had gone to bed. A street lamp near his window had fooled him into thinking the sun was coming up.