By bkuehn1952 on 11/15/10
We asked for readers to send in blog posts- and Brian Kuehn didn't disappoint. This is his 6th article to oobgolf. He's probably going to expect to be on our payroll soon... You can read the other 5 here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The other day I played in some pretty heavy fog. It got me thinking about golf and the weather. Many of us have played in extreme weather. Often the golf is not particularly pretty but the stories can be fun. Here are a couple from my past. Hopefully the rest of you will share your stories, too.
White Out – A friend and I decided to play one Saturday in early April. The ground was free of snow and ice and the sun was out. The forecast, while a bit chilly at 40 degrees, was fine with us after a long golfless winter. Everything was going along great until the back nine. Suddenly a snow squall hit and everything was coated in an inch of wet snow. The snow was coming down so fast one could not see more than 30-40 yards. We persevered and discovered the first problem with playing in snow, your spikes build-up a layer of slush and ice. It was almost like walking on platform shoes. Every 30 yards we had to knock off the build-up or risk falling on our butts. Problem #2, finding a white ball, was solved by breaking out a couple colored balls we had floating around in our bags. The final obstacle could not be overcome. When we would putt, the ball would accumulate snow, getting bigger and bigger like a plate rolling on its edge until the “plate” would fall over sideways. Just about the time we decided to call it a day the snow stopped and the sun came out. Literally in less than 2 minutes the entire course was green again. As we played on, another squall would hit, cover everything in snow, then to stop and allow everything to become green again. This cycle continued the entire back nine. We finished the round but it was the first and last time I have played in the snow.
Rain Suits On/Rain Suits Off – Ireland has very changeable weather, something I experienced several years ago while playing Waterville. The day started with sun and a stiff breeze. About the 3rd hole the sky grew dark and 30 seconds later sideways rain was pelting us. Everyone scrambled to pull on rain suits. When the last button was fastened and zipper zipped the sun reappeared. This process was repeated numerous times that day. For the rest of the trip, each day I would just wear my “Irish Outfit”: wind shirt and rain pants over my boxers.
Typhoon Melor – While on the west coast we were scheduled to play Spyglass Hill on October 11, 2009. The problem was that the remnants of Super Typhoon Melor hit northern California the same day. We had a choice of sitting around the resort or experience a once in a lifetime moment on the golf course; off we went to Spyglass. The power was out in the clubhouse and the staff urged us to stick to the “Ocean 6” since large limbs and trees were falling on the inland holes. The wind was gusting to 70 mph and the rain was coming down in buckets. All we needed was some lightning and it would have been the perfect recreation of the Caddy Shack scene with the Reverend (Note: there was no lightning; we are nuts but not crazy). By the 2nd hole, everything we had was completely soaked. I probably weighed an extra 30 pounds from all the water in my rain gear, clothes and shoes. As we played along the beach the rain started to sting our faces like sleet does in the winter. On closer examination we discovered the rain had picked up windblown sand and our faces were getting sandblasted. Not wanting to push our luck, we called it a day after 6. That will definitely be my last round in a typhoon – at least until next year.
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The furthest south I have resided is in Ann Arbor, MI, and the northern most residence was Hanover, NH. I will leave the “it was so hot” and “it was so cold” stories to the Oobers who really know about those extremes. Sand storm anyone? Hurricane? Give us some weather stories!
This was written by Brian Kuehn, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.
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out here in California, I once played in 50 degree weather with rain. It was brutal :)
I have done the sand storm. Not fun. I'm out in Albuquerque, NM and the Kirtland AFB course is near the east mountains and it gets real windy in the spring & summer afternoons. We went out one afternoon a year or two ago and it was basically a brown out. Probably 50+ mph winds, dust everywhere. Luckily the last hole played right into the wind... :-/
This past summer i was playing at Nemacolin resort on the Links course. It was a "Major" tournament for the Golf Channel AmTour. It had been a pleasant rain all day for the most part, but at 15 the worst case scenarios took place. The cart i was in got a flat tire and we had to abandon. About the time we got everything packed up the skies opened and it poured rain. I mean POURED to the point that you couldn't see more than 10-15 yards in front or you, let alone hold on to a golf club. It rained like that for a good 20 minutes, completely covering the green in water (only the pin was visible), as well as filling up all the bunkers and making the fairways little more than swamps. Everything was casual water, yet for some reason they didn't stop the tournament. I took a 8 on the 15th after 4 putting through an inch of water from 4 feet, and a 6 on the 16th. I made par on 17 after putting down a river flowing through the center of the green and over the hole (which i couldn't see). That was interesting.
I played in 27 degrees this past January.
I had the pleasure of playing in Okinawa, Japan while i was in the Marine Corps. I went with an Okinawan that worked with me and all night the night before it rained. I distinctly remember hitting an approach shot that was short and plugged into the bunker that guarded the front of the green. When I got to it the ball had only about 10% of the ball showing because it buried so deep. Not knowning the rules of golf I deplugged it and dropped in the bunker to hit my shot. The only other thing I remember from that day was the mud soaked shoes and pants as we squished around the course.
We played in 43 degree temps in Michigan Sunday with 30 mph winds and no sunshine. That's what you have to do in MI if you want to play. I regularly play with some friends from England and they tell me that this is a nice day in the summer back in England!
Bryan K says:
Of course...the one other thing that Mr Kuehn forgot to mention about playing in the snow is that your ball doesn't roll when it lands. It sinks. Colored ball or not, that little bastard is impossible to find even if you see the exact spot where it made contact with the snow.
When we played in Omaha last March, we played the snow drifts as incidental water
Played in 15 degrees conditions last year, that's not very unusual here. The course becomes like a pinball machine, 300 yard drives are easy than! Anyone plays "pangya" here? It's so much fun to bounce balls on the ice like that in real life.
Still got a couple of pictures of us playing in St. Omer, France, in a fulls-size storm where the flag on 18 was ripped from the flagstick.
Last weekend, the course was closed because it was flooded. Today it's open again (walking / carrying only). Casual water with ducks swimming in it. You hit a ball, it lands, *splash* - never to be found again.
The day after Tgiving last year, my sister-in-law and I decided to leave my wife and her brother and the kids, and go play golf. The day started out nice enough. It was a little chilly, but it was warming. By the time we were done warming up, it was above 50 degrees. The course was very wet (it had poured the night before), with impromptu ponds in the fairways. But, we lived with it. About the third hole, though, the weather just got wacky. First, the winds started gusting to 30 miles an hour or so. Then, it started raining. Then, the wet snow started. We were just about ready to go back to the clubhouse when it cleared up, the sun came out, and everything was fine. So, we soldiered on. Right about the 15th hole, it got crazy again. The winds started, and this time ... it started hailing. Granted, these were pebble-sized hailstones, but it didn't make putting terribly easy.
I swear to you that I was waiting for the swarm of locusts. That's about all that was missing from that day.
Played Callippe Preserve (Northern California) last Sunday and the temperature never got above 75. For those without shades, the afternoon sun was punishing. :)
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