It’s still September, so leave me time to golf

My friend George has a good mind. He wouldn’t let this entire golf season go by without us getting out there for a round. The bridge between summer and fall turned out to be perfect, he with the boys back to school and me with a mid-week morning I could free up from freelance and blogging duties.

Olde Oak, a sturdy layout tucked away only a few miles from Green Lakes State Park’s much more storied 18 holes, had a 9:12 a.m. tee time for two and a great with-cart fee of $22.

George had never been to this family-owned course in Kirkville that for many decades had gone by the name Town Isle until the Grygiel’s decided a change was in order, but his GPS got him there a moment or two before me.

Hover over any gallery photo for a description. Click on the bottom right photo in any gallery for an enlarged slide show.

There was a foursome ahead of us on the first tee, but no matter, what with the sky a vivid blue and the air warming from the overnight 50s F.

This George — not to be confused with my darling daughter Elisabeth’s terrific boyfriend George Three nor his father George Two, both of whom I’ve introduced to you here before in golfing posts and other blog tales — was a former colleague of mine at the big daily. We’ve hit the links previously with KP and Tater, but this was our first solo venture.

This gave us plenty of cart time to catch up. His sons are doing well, not exactly following in his footsteps in avidness in following the Yankees and Packers, but enjoying trips to live events. I was touched by how the American Hockey League franchise up the road, the Utica Comets, responded to an emergency surgery needed by George’s niece, a fan of that team along with her father, George’s brother. In fact, George and his sons still like our Syracuse Crunch games here, but have their hearts with the Utica squad as well because of their affection and goodwill toward their relatives up the Thruway. George’s job at SMG, where he works with my dear wife Karen, has taken an interesting twist. He goes in to work newsroom editing chores at 3 p.m. At dinner time, he goes home, and then his bosses allow him to finish his shift from his computer at home. Nice!

Hickory days of yore.

Hickory days of yore.

George hit some of his putts with a vintage, hickory-shafter putter he’d salvaged from the golf bag of a favorite uncle. After his uncle had passed, relatives were donating the clubs to charity. George asked if he could have this one in memory, and he still uses it in tribute.

Up the hill on the 18th green with a vintage putter for George.

Up the hill on the 18th green with a vintage putter for George.

It has a 7-degree loft to the blade, so he likes it for longer putts, especially from the fringe.

I take my crack on the 18th green.

I take my crack on the 18th green.

It was a satisfying round. As we came up the ninth fairway, the guy from behind the counter scooted toward us on a cart. He apologized for letting the foursome in front ahead of us without a tee time, and said they would allow us to play through on the 10th tee because the entire back nine was empty in front of them.

Indeed, it was.

Funny thing, though. After I’d scored lower than George by a handful of shots on the first nine holes, he beat me by some on the second nine. He must play better at a faster pace than I do. Or, he wore me down, youngster that he is. George turned 50 this year. Happy Birthday, my friend.

In any case, I’m ready for October golf. The leaves have yet to turn and begin to fall, odd for this time of year in Central New York. November, anybody? December! Ah, how fanciful. Frost on the greens could be any time now.

Have you ever hit a golf ball with a hickory-shafted club, and if so, what did it feel like? Do you play sports better slow or fast? Which is your favorite photo, and why?

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22 thoughts on “It’s still September, so leave me time to golf

  1. I haven’t hit the links in a long time. But Rob is better than me. I hate to admit it, but he is. But neither of us is very good! (It’s “is”, right?)

    $22 is a heck of a deal. I guess if I’m becoming a doctor, I should probably learn how to golf eventually, right?

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  2. the weather looks perfect. no, i’ve never used a hickory, but it would be an interesting experience, since i’m not really a golfer anyway and don’t have much to compare it to. ) i love the summer to fall transition, each day feels like an extra gift – p.s. i’m a better slow speed sportswoman

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    • I think hitting with a hickory stick would give some serious feedback compared to the metal or alloy shafts of today, Beth. I had an old hickory three-iron my Uncle Pete gave me when I was a kid, and I would whap beater balls around the park behind our house with it, and what I remember was feeling each hit in my hands. πŸ™‚ Oh, yeah, in golf I like playing at a good pace. Ready up, hit, no lolly-gagging. πŸ˜‰

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  3. Great photos all. Haven’t played golf in about five years. Never used a hickory shaft, but I suspect it has a very different feel. Since I’m not much practiced in the art of golf, slower is better in my case. πŸ™‚

    Good luck with the October play. I hope it doesn’t frost up on you too soon.

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  4. Glad you got to golf with buddy George, Mark. Leaves here have almost all turned. Once it starts it’s amazing how fast it goes. You spot one changed leaf, and next thing you know they all start changing and then faster than seems possible the trees are bare. Hope yours last longer. Vive le wearing of les shorts! ❀
    Diana xo

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    • It will happen quickly this year when it starts in Syracuse, too, I have a feeling, Diana. We’re way past the slow and steady point for the leaves. In fact, looking out my living room window right now toward the lot next door, those trees appear to be going directly to dried brown, skipping any color at all.

      Yes, long live shorts weather. I think I’ve shared that I’ll keep mine on until I MUST go to jeans and khakis in the low 50s F. Maybe I can last to high 40s even if the sun is out and it isn’t windy. πŸ˜‰

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