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Spring Golf: Snow, Wet Fairways, and Tons of Fun

The 14th hole at Tarandowah Golfers Club on April 9. Don't let the snow fool you -- it was still in fine shape.

I ventured out for a golf game on Saturday, only a few weeks removed from my planned trip to the South-West of Ireland. I figured there was only one place to start preparing for that trip  — Taradowah near Avon, Ont. Okay, maybe three if you include Devil’s Paintbrush and Osprey Valley Heathlands, though I don’t know if either of those courses are actually open.

Anyway, my threesome gathered Saturday morning, and though it was bright enough out, there was a distinct nip in the air when we were warming up on the driving range. Despite that the course still had 130 on its tee sheet for the day. We set out — golf designer Ian Andrew, who was visiting the course for the first time, and my good friend and scratch player, Kelly — and banged it around in just under four hours, a fine pace considering how wet the course was in places.

I had a pretty good idea of what to expect after missing the green on the first hole and finding the back, an area obscured by trees, covered in snow. Though the course was largely devoid of the nasty white stuff, some managed to hang on in a few spots, though I suspect it was all gone by Sunday. Beyond that, the course was wet, but very playable. Nothing a few days of sun won’t take care of.

The remarkable thing about the course was the greens — perfectly smooth and in mid-season form, it made the round a lot of fun. Typical spring golf features slow and bumpy putting surfaces, but that wasn’t the case at Tarandowah.

As for our games, well, I didn’t expect much. Kelly managed an eagle on the 9th to shoot even par, though I don’t know how he finished. Ian hit some fine drives, and I had a typical early season round, somehow making birdie on the nasty 16th, and following that by bombing one into the trees on 17. Standard inconsistent spring golf — but delightful anyway.

By the time we hit the clubhouse for a hot dog and a Stella, it felt like mid-June. The weather had warmed and we sat wiping ketchup off our faces while watching the groups behind us come in to the 18th green. Golf season was officially off and running, even if the RCGA’s handicap tracking software won’t record my 85 until April 15.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • Robert, the worst thing about Ontario spring golf is the inconsistency of the weather, too up and down as you never know what it will bring from day to day.

    Therefore we play our spring golf in Myrtle Beach each year during the month of April, pays to be retired, pretty well in the low to mid 70’s, temperature not score, and quite comfortable.

    We return to spring golf at home when it is a bit more predictable in May.

    We pretty well stick to the Brunswick Island area; Lions Paw, Oyster Beach, Tigers Eye, River Hills, Rivers Edge, Crown Park, Black Bear, Eagles Nest and the likes.

    Good time of the year down here as it not too hot and courses are starting to be in good shape.

    Have a great time in Ireland.

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