Halloween is just around the corner and this year, the holiday is particularly scary for me. That’s because October 31 marks the official end of the active golf season here in Wisconsin. Rounds played in our state from November 1 to March 31 are not acceptable for handicap purposes and, while there is still golf to be played over the next two months, this deadline serves to remind us that our days left on the course in 2021 are chillingly limited. 

This is hard for me to wrap my head around because it seems like just a few weeks ago I was writing my introductory column and exploring ways for us to practice and maintain our fitness for golf during the winter. Yet, those days are quickly approaching once again. 

At the time, it seemed like it took the golf season forever to get here and now, suddenly, in the blink of an eye, it is almost over.  

The season was a whirlwind. I took lessons, got new clubs, established my first official handicap, participated in my first WSGA event as well as my first golf marathon, and met a lot of amazing people who have become new friends along the way. I also had the pleasure of working with the 3M Open in Minnesota and attending the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. 

Because this was my first year establishing a handicap and consequently, my first year logging all of my rounds, I have lots of interesting stats to explore. However, since I had not logged my scores previously, I unfortunately do not have a concrete way to compare this season to past seasons; I can only speculate. 

For example, this year, I logged over 50 rounds, which is likely more rounds than I played over the last three years combined. My current handicap index is a 12.2 with an average score of 88.8. And, while I wish I had kept a record of my scores prior in order to see how much I have improved, quite honestly, it wouldn’t have been comparing apples to apples anyway. 

Anecdotally, I feel like my scores were quite similar to years past, but with one important difference: In 2021, I counted every stroke. No mulligans; no gimmies. Thus, a score of 88 this year was a legit 88 instead of a possible 90 or higher, meaning that, anecdotally, I have improved. I also feel like I am parring and birdieing more holes (and I even had an eagle this year!) whereas in the past, I was often playing for, and satisfied with, bogey. 

 The biggest hole in my game this season was actually getting the ball in the hole; my putting was atrocious. I had several rounds of 40+ putts, rounds where literally half my strokes were putts. I don’t ever remember putting this terribly before… but I also don’t remember holing out on every hole before either. Establishing a handicap has forced me to address the weakest parts of my game and try to figure out how to fix them. Improving my putting –and sand shots– will be at the top of my 2022 Golf Resolutions list!

And, if I had logged the details of my rounds (fairways, greens in regulation, etc.), I realize now that I would have even more data to mine. I am definitely going to track all those stats next year for sure.  

While I am grateful for a wonderful, fun-filled 2021 season and am already looking forward to  2022, all of this is not to say that I’m hanging up my bag for this year just yet. Not by any stretch of the imagination. We’ve got at least a few weeks to get some more rounds in, even as the amount of daylight and temperatures wane. 

Speaking of which…what are your best cold-weather golf tips? Share them with us on Twitter and I’ll include my favorites in next month’s article!

Caitlin Moyer

Caitlin Moyer has been hacking and hoping since she was 10. Over the course of her career in the sports industry, she's had the chance to play the game with LPGA, MLB and NBA players, as well as NASCAR drivers and celebrities, but her favorite playing partner is her dad (even though he is a stick). Inventor and sole practitioner of the one-flap™ golf swing (patent pending).