A Golfer’s Bucket List: No. 6

Home course, flooded fairways, September, 2011.

Home course, flooded fairways, September, 2011.

Play in weather so miserable (lightning excluded) that yours is the only group left on the course. Old golf joke: An obsessed golfer heads to the club in pouring rain for his regular Saturday-morning game. The storm turns out to be too intense even for him, so he returns home, takes off his wet clothes, and slides back into bed next to his wife. “The weather’s horrible,” he whispers, and she says, “And can you believe it? My idiot husband is out there playing golf.”

Gairloch, Scotland, May, 2007.

Gairloch, Scotland, May, 2007.

He should have stayed at the club. Golf was invented in a country where bad weather is almost the only kind, so to take the game’s full measure you have to play it occasionally when all the sensible people are indoors watching Sports Center. There’s something sublime about putting through casual water or over pea-size hail, especially if you have the course to yourself.

On the road to Tralee, Ireland, May, 2006.

On the road to Tralee, Ireland, May, 2006.

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