The end is near. Wait a minute…Before you think I went all Harold Camping on you, I won’t be asking for donations to build a media campaign to inform the masses of the imminent apocalypse (unless of course you want to send me money, then I accept personal checks and PayPal). But, back to the topic at hand. The end is certainly near. The Mayans were right you ask? No, not that end either. Justin Bieber still hasn’t reproduced, so we’re good for a while. But, can you imagine the fun we could have if we knew for a fact the Mayans were in fact right, and we had 2 months left to plan and execute a militant type takeover of Augusta National, so we can all die knowing our bucket list was officially kicked? And, since we’re in charge, we could get a fleet of carts, strap some stereos and kegs to them, and just have a good old time and watch the Green Jackets squirm? Now I’m starting to hope the Mayans were right. Anyone have any inside information that could be helpful? Maybe I’ve had too much coffee this morning.
For those of us in a part of the world that experiences seasons, the end is most definitely near. Since about March, (thank you Al Gore for inventing global warming) I have been treated to exponentially more days suitable for golf than weren’t. Record heat and record drought resulted in more golfing days that ever before. I don’t subscribe to the theory that it’s too hot to golf, so, many days I had the course almost to myself, except for the occasional fellow golf nerd I’d run into. Golf outings could be planned days, weeks, even months in advance, because the chance of round-ruining weather was negligible at best. There was enough light to golf well into the night, and I even heard a rumor that the sun was up and courses were open at close to 6am, but I can’t confirm that. My social calendar was full, unavailable to anyone who wanted my time away from the game of golf. I didn’t have to make plans, think of things to do on the weekends, or worry when my next round might get played. In fact, I played so much golf, at times I’d convince myself to take some time away from the game, until after a few minutes I’d get bored and head to the course. My days were filled with broad smiles and uncontrollable joy while playing, then rehashing, then planning the next round. I was even told I was enjoyable to be around. It was as close to heaven as a golf nut like myself can experience.
The End of Times
Then, something happened. It happens every year, but every year it seems to come earlier, and be more dramatic than the year before. First, it gets darker earlier. Then, the wind picks up and blows out of the north. Then I find myself digging through the closet looking for a jacket to wear on the last few holes of the round. Then the trees get sick. The leaves turn a sickly brown color, and slowly start to fall off. My Saturday morning tee time has to be pushed back, to allow for frost to clear off the greens. My usual Thursday night game is cancelled because its raining and cold. I stop practicing, my game loses its edge, but I don’t care anymore, because today could be the last round, so I want to enjoy it rather than grind out a score. Then, one morning I wake up, and seemingly overnight every leaf that was once so healthy, green and proudly attached to the trees are all dead, laying on the ground, waiting for a bitter north wind to blow them away. Sure, there will be a nice day here and there, and hopefully one of those nice days is on a weekend, so I can bundle up for a reunion with the 1st tee box. But, when I get there, the grass is brown, and the course is but a shell of its former glorious self. But, I’m a golf addict, and I slog ahead, still chasing whatever it is I’m chasing.
And now here I sit, staring out my window dreaming of the year that was. Did I accomplish what I had hoped? Did I put as much effort into my game that I should have? Did I take time to enjoy the people I met, and get to know more of the other wonderful personalities that this incredible game has brought into my life? Did I leave the course better than I found it? Did I do anything to grow the game? Did I enjoy the game like I did when I was a child, blissfully swinging and chasing that little ball with reckless abandon? Winter’s coming, and I’ll have plenty of time to answer those questions, and put a plan in place to make 2013 the best year yet. But, until then, the rain has slowed to a drizzle, my thermometer says its 45 degrees, and the wind has slowed to a manageable 25 mph gale; so if you’ll excuse me, I have an addiction to feed. Because who knows, today could be the end.
[Editor's note: Thanks, Levi. This may be the most depressing post about golf I've ever read. Unlike the zombie apocalypse and the 2012 Mayan prediciton, this annual golf apocalypse you speak of is no reason to party. My advice? Flee the state as soon as you can.]