The Lazy Hollow Invitational 2017

The nor ‘easter that passed through last week makes for great spring skiing, but slammed the breaks on the start of the golf season. The course at Fresh Pond is far from playable – opening day is at least a week away. As luck and a positive cash flow would have it, I’ve booked on a flight to Orlando early Wednesday morning. Mom is turning 80, so we’re celebrating at her lovely home, which is just off the ninth fairway, in a place where it is sunny and 80 degrees.

Since Mom moved to Florida in 2013, we’ve held the Lazy Hollow Invitational – an exclusive,  multi-day, mother/daughter event with a simple format – multiple rounds of stroke play with lots of gimmes and mulligans, followed by cocktails on the lanai, steaks medium rare, classic movies on the big screen, and your choice of ice cream.

The trip is simple – Uber/curb check clubs/non stop BOS to MCO/pick up clubs and car and roll up the road to the country club. Packing isn’t complicated – a couple of polo shirts and a skort, espadrilles and a silk scarf should the need to dress up arise.

I brought the cart bag up from the basement. In one of the pockets there were four old gloves – stiff and dry, and smelling of leather and sunblock. Ready…

Snow Falling on Golf Course/Virtual Golf

Which delays opening day – an email from the pro postponed the start of the season until the weather improves. Rats.

Meanwhile, earlier this week business took me to Pittsfield, MA, where I hacked my way through the first 12 holes on the Old Course at St Andrews at Downswing’s Indoor Golf Center. Ryan, the starter, walked me through how the sensors read the club speed and direction as it hit the ball, and then feed the results to the computer. Using the touch screen, I could aim my shot. Because the putting senors were on the fritz, any thing that landed on the green was a gimme.  In the virtual world, there is no causal water, or rakes on the edge of the bunker, or the need to take your stance standing sideways on a hillside. A fun way to pass an evening in late winter, while waiting for the weather to lift and Spring to get back on track.

snow

Oh Happy Day! The Home Course Opens on Saturday!

On the top of my in box yesterday morning was an email from the pro – weather permitting, the course will open at 8:00 Saturday morning. In that small wrinkle of time between paid work and momming,  I hit balls into the net the backyard, running through the sequence – driver, fairway wood, hybrid 5, 7 iron, wedge. Matching up the long range forecast and my calendar the mid-section of next week looks promising. Wednesday afternoon it may be possible to play real deal golf. My inner child is jumping up and down.

Water Hazards

Donald Trump signs water rule that could help his golf courses.”
—  golf.com Tour News

Call me crazy, but I like that the EPA takes an interest in the quality of the water on the course that I play. Not that I like wading into the lateral hazard on 5, but the box turtles sunning themselves on a submerged log takes some of the sting out of my entrant tee shot. I like that a family of rabbits live in the wildflower thicket by the 8th tee.  Seeing a hawk in the trees over on the 4th fairway makes me happy.

img_3370 Bunny on 8th tee

I mean, come on! We play at places with names like  Green Valley Country Club, and Red Hawk Links – Trees. Nature. Wildlife does come into play here. It’s Bermuda grass, not astro-turf, and when it rains there is no dome to close or trap to roll out. The idea of managing land and water as if the future mattered is neither new, nor radical. (Isn’t it interesting how the word “conservation” is a lot like the word “conservative”?)  And it’s not like “green” golf course management can’t be done (here’s a list of the top eco-courses by Forbes) Hell, the USGA put out its environmental principals of golf courses in 1996. What is it with this sudden need to roll the clock back 21 years?

wildflower thicket fpgcWildflower thicket between 8th green and 9th tee