Golfers in the northeast have a particular affinity for pain; they constantly set themselves up for a winter spent wasting the days away until the first signs of spring pop.
We sit at the window and wait for the first patches of grass to begin showing. The barren ground in December gives us hope that the dark winter will be brief, until those dreams are crushed by ensuing waves of storms. Every inch that gets deposited on the ground represents another day spent waiting and believing that this will be the year you break 80.
The kitchen slowly becomes a driving range. The hallway transforms into the putting green on the 18th hole, with the clubhouse looking down upon you. Showers turn into a feature film, capturing the moment you tee’d off with the lead during the final round of the U.S. Open.
All of this compiles into the pain and suffering that golfers endure during the cold weather months. I apparently love to feel that suffering even more than the average person.
I’ve doomed myself to long winters awaiting my two sporting loves: golf and baseball. Rather than picking a hobby like skiing, basketball or even something like reading, I chose a sport that I can’t even do when it’s cold out.
It handcuffs me into months of sitting idly by while all I want to do is stand in the first tee box or play catch. This decision deserves a slap across the face; why did I set myself up for this constant agony and longing during a quarter of the year?
Summers are a completely different story. I am a kid in a candy store with as much money as I could ever ask for. However, it is something that can easily be taken for granted. The winter becomes even darker with this in mind. Time feels as though it slows all the way down, with every passing moment causing you to reach out for spring.
For all spring athletes in cold weather climates, it is a testament to how dedicated we are towards our sports. The jump from 50 degrees and sunny in November can be rapidly juxtaposed against the frigid temperatures that January brings. In this time, we are just left with sweet thoughts of warmer days.
When the time comes, we are more and more excited to get out and play. Finally, once the ground clears up and the fairways once again become visible, there is little that can hold us back.
We may not hit those fairways very often, but we will certainly try. We will likely have many three-putts, but we do it with a smile on our face knowing that another difficult winter has passed in the region.
Northeast golfers are purely crazy. They go into a season knowing that all they will want to do for the winter months is get on a course. However, it is a struggle that constantly lures us in and pulls us deeper.
So, to all of you lucky enough to be golfing or playing baseball right now: those of us still impacted by the snow envy you. In fact, we kind of despise you deep down. If there is anything you should know, we will still be there sitting idly by as each day takes away another layer of the winter. Finally, when we are able to get beyond the fear of frostbite, we will get out and play as if we have just been starved for years, getting the first nibble on our true passions.
Tyler Wells is a born-again golfer from northeastern Vermont that has to dodge the rain and snow for most of the year. Currently, he is a collegiate baseball player at the University of New Haven, and he'll use the "it's a different swing" excuse on every bad shot. He can be a decent golfer when he doesn't slice his tee shot into the next fairway.
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