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Soggy shoes

Soggy shoes Soggy shoes

Temperatures in the 40s - check Cold intermittent misty rain that chills you to the bone - check Soggy ground and standing water from days of rain - check Getting the opportunity to spend time with my son - check Having a great time, despite how poorly I played check By every metric that really matters, Saturday morning was a great day to be out at Tee Hi Golf Course. The course had quietly opened for the season last week and like many people my son, Alex, and I were eager to hit the greens and attempt to shake off some of the rust from not having swung a club since last September.

We hit the course at 9 a.m. Saturday, and judging by the footprints and the ample number of worm tracks on the dew-soaked greens only one other person had come before us. By the time we left the course, there was getting to be a respectable number of cars in the parking lot and groups working their way around the course.

It is remarkable the difference between the beginning of the season and the end of the season. April golf in northern Wisconsin is a bonus. Time spent on the course in early spring is special, similar to when the mercury climbs up to 40 degrees for a warm spell in January or the sun finally comes out after weeks of overcast skies in November and February.

In July, I might have decided to skip golfing on a cold and rainy Saturday, choosing instead to stay inside with a book and a warm beverage or to putter in my garage with some project or two. However in April and the first weekend the local course is open, you take your chances, even if you have to wear stocking caps to keep from catching cold.

In full disclosure, I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be an outstanding golfer, this was in painful evidence on Saturday by a score best left forgotten. At some point along the way, my son “lost” the pencil to scribble down our scores. I personally believe that after witnessing me top every swing and watching my golf ball soar an amazing three yards, the pencil jumped out of the bag with the hope that it would be picked up by a far better golfer or end its existence being chopped up in the mower blades. From its perspective either of these options was likely better than witnessing my display of golfing skills.

We did keep score, my son recording them on a notepad application on his phone so that they are saved for all time. The major purpose of this is so that we can record our improvement over the course of the next few months.

As with many things giving an inherent advantage to the vigor of youth over the calm contemplation that decades of experience give you, Alex is better at golfing than I am. This is mainly due to having put more hours into it and actually having gotten some instruction through the youth golf program. Like many people, focusing developing my golf game is on my list of postretirement activities.

I expect that some day Alex will grow bored of golfing with me and waiting for me to plod my way down the course while he is waiting at the green.

Until he decides to leave me behind, I get the chance to spend time with him and talk with him as we make our way over the course. With his first year of high school flying by, I know that the days are limited of being able to roust him out of bed early on a rainy Saturday morning to spend time with me. Other things will take up his time and other pursuits will occupy his interest.

Until then, I am happy getting my shoes soaking wet and slogging my way through puddles on the fairway if it means spending time with my son.

Brian Wilson is News Editor at The Star News.

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