Spring Has…Whoops

By Jim McNaney






I will readily admit I HATE winter.

Before anyone decides to write in to educate me about all the wonderful things Minnesota has to offer in the wintertime, I get it.  I know there are a ton of things to do and places to go throughout winter in the “Great White North.”  The fact of the matter is, I just don’t really enjoy any of them.

Skiing/snowboarding can be fun occasionally, but no one else in my family likes it so I usually end up going alone and that’s not much fun.

Cross Country skiing seems like far too much effort.  Yes, I’m a bit lazy.

Ice fishing?

If I want to sit around with my buddies, drink beer and watch sports on TV, I’d rather do it in a nice warm tavern and not a tricked-out icehouse.

I spend from December through March praying for the snow to melt.  Longing for the day when I can tee it up again.  I keep a weathered eye (pun intended) on the calendar for April.  That’s the month I target all the way back in December.  I prepare myself mentally for the short, cold, dark days of winter.  If I can just make it to April, all will be right with the world again.

Then April comes.

What a disappointment.

It seems like every year April treats me as well as Luci treats Charlie Brown with the football.  I go running head-long into the month thinking I am going to kick off the golf season only to have Mother Nature rip it away at the last minute and I end up flat on my back.

Good grief.

Sure, some courses open only to turn around and close again for another week while the latest “dusting” of snow melts.  If we do get the courses to stay open, we usually face biting Northwest winds that make your eyes water so much you need to apply lip balm under your chapped eyes.

We end up playing with so many layers on we can’t move our arms (although, for some people I know that actually HELPS their swing).  The courses are usually wet as the ground starts to thaw and it’s not like the grounds crews can work magic to make the courses more playable.

Just like every year, I’ve dupped myself into believing that golf will come to Minnesota in April, and I will be in my happy place…on the course.

Perhaps I am just not conditioned enough yet.  After all, I did not grow up in Minnesota.  But I’ve lived here long enough to know better.

Why do I keep telling myself a lie that April will bring golf?

I blame The Masters.

The first major of the year occurs in April.  The azaleas are in full bloom and the course is a magnificent shade of green.  Fan…sorry…patrons are decked out in spring colors and even shorts.  Everything looks so pristine.

I get my hopes up for April with the impossible comparison to that of Augusta National.  I need to learn to separate the two.  From now on, The Masters is when I can start hoping golf will return to Minnesota within 6 weeks.

Think of it as Ground Hogs Day for golfers.

The more I think about it, the more it starts to make sense.  Occasionally the weather is not as nice at The Masters and patrons need to don coats and wear long pants.  The sun doesn’t always shine.

So here is my proposal.  If the patrons DO NOT see their shadows, 6 more weeks of winter in Minnesota.  If they see their shadows, it will be an earlier spring.  We will be consistently playing golf by say…May 1st. (I know that’s the reverse of Ground Hogs Day but that’s kind of the point)

If that was the attitude I adopted back in December, I would not be so depressed watching another clipper bringing high winds and snow bursts throughout all of April.  It would not bother me as much when bonnets and spring blazers are replaced by winter hats and parkas at church Easter Sunday morning.

That’s it!

If I set the realistic goal that April does not bring back golf, I will not be so disappointed.  If we do get lucky and the weather is nice in April, I’ll consider it a blessing.

I’m feeling better already.

Back to the things someone can do in the winter I mentioned earlier; if you enjoy them, you do you.  Have a blast catching Northerns on a frozen lake in your new ice castle.  If you like cross-country skiing, knock yourself out.

I am going to continue to stay bundled up in my house waiting for Spring to arrive.

I’ll just keep reminding myself that it is not April.