Swingin’ the Clubs in a Winter Wonderland
Hitting a golf ball in snow is a lot like hitting a golf ball out of a sand trap … sometimes.
Season’s greetings! No, not the holiday greeting kind, but the start of the golf season!
We should be able to hit golf balls by now, if not for the several inches of snow that is hanging around too long. This week is Masters Week, and it’s the official start to spring for us golfers, yet we’re not able to hit any golf balls yet. Bummer!
We’ll be forced to watch golf on television with gorgeous azaleas in full bloom and emerald green fairways and greens, all while listening to the sounds of birds and the roars from patrons watching the world’s best golfers play it out for the coveted green jacket. Imagining what it would be like to be playing golf now.
Have no fear though, driving ranges could be open as soon as this weekend and, hopefully, our area courses will follow suit in the coming weeks. So let’s all put our collective mojo out there in the universe to make this happen.
The other day, I couldn’t handle it and I imagined what if we played golf year-round in the Upper Valley and what would it be like if we had to hit golf balls off snow for an entire round.
The result? Hitting golf balls off snow is like playing golf on one large sand trap made of ice crystals. It is tricky, difficult and like blasting a snow cone with a golf club, where ice and snow crystals fly farther than the golf ball if you don’t hit it correctly.
I couldn’t tee up the ball to hit driver as there was no firm ground and the snow was too deep for a tee, so I had to make a snow tee with my hands. With my hands now cold, my white ball flew into a sea of white snow and buried, making it probably impossible to find in real life. Hot pink golf balls appear to be the key, as well as keen eyesight.
Hitting a 7-iron off snow successfully is just like hitting a fairway bunker shot. Remember those? Fairway bunkers shots are extremely difficult and no fun. My ball went nowhere.
We’ll get into fairway bunker technique later in the season when we’re warmed up. Hitting a bunker shot out of the snow was also exactly the same as hitting a bunker shot out of sand. It was fun and entertaining as the club never has to hit the ball and you blast the snow and ball floats softly … into more snow.
I wish I could have said “ball floats softly onto the green” there, but we’ll be saying that soon enough. Let’s hope.
Peter Harris is director of golf at the Fore-U Golf Center in West Lebanon.