Alain Meuse's golf column
By Alain Meuse
Up until two years ago, we were a bit spoiled down here in the Banana Republic of southwest Nova.
Mild winters, little snow and frost-free greens meant golfers could entertain feeding their addiction in March, very early March.
Obviously things changed last spring when it remained cold and wet – it seemed on most weekends – for most of March and April.
This year has been a bit better but not by much as the cold and rain persisted into May. The one difference from a year ago is that the wet stuff seems to make an appearance in mid-week rather than weekends.
Hopefully the trend of rainless weekends will persist so that upcoming tournaments will be played as schedule.
Yarmouth isn’t the only golf course suffering from the weather. All golf clubs in eastern Canada and the United States have been under the same cloud.
So how do you get someone to abandon the couch, grab the golf bag and literally head for the hills?
I recently heard about some rather unique methods to entice those waiting for the suntan lotion and black flies before venturing on the links.
One golf club in western Canada has something called Eight Inch Thursdays.
Every Thursday, the front nine of the course has a makeover: the holes on the greens are extended to eight inches in diameter.
Most regulations are also scrapped in order to lure new entrants into the sport and it seems to work.
Don’t know about you but those culvert-cover-sized holes might do wonders to my woeful putting part of the game.
One club in the Halifax area instituted a special fee structure during the bone-numbing days of April. The green fees were determined by what the temperature was at tee time.
On some days they probably had to pay the golfers to play…
Cold weather, especially a cold wind, which is the norm in the spring at the Yarmouth Links, precipitates changes in the way the game is approached. Balls don’t travel well in cold weather and the ball has difficulty rolling on the wet turf. Plugged balls on high lob shots are very common and once you get on the crest of the hills on this course, the wind can be high enough to blow the pins and your golf bag off its moorings.
But things will warm up, to be sure.
And the odd mosquito will more than likely show up…
SHORT SHOTS: Holes-in-one are the highlight of a golfer’s dream game. Just think what Robert Mitera of Omaha, Nebraska, felt like on Oct. 7, 1965, when he holed one out from the tee. The shot travelled 447 yards. Yep. That’s the world record …. Weird But True: Ever heard of pro golfer Fulton Allem? No? Neither had moi but in 1993 at the Southwest Bell event, he had a bit of a weird day on the course. One drive stuck a tree. An approach shot slammed into a stonewall and another found a fan’s folding seat. But he won the event, shot a combined 264 … The late U.S. President Gerald Ford never mastered the game of golf and was known for his wayward shots, especially his drives off the tee, which usually sent even his security guards into hiding. Here’s what the late Bob Hope had to say about President Ford and his golf game: “Whenever I play with Gerald Fold, I try to make it a foursome—the President, myself, a paramedic and a faith healer.”