The Joys of Summer

In previous columns I have raved about how wonderful it is that golf has truly become a year-round game, what with all the spectacular courses now being built in every hemisphere. While there’s no doubt that’s true, I have to admit that in my heart of hearts I’m a summer guy. Sure, I love to play on the road in the off-season and to steal a winter round here or there at my home club when weather permits, but give me a course in all its pure July glory, when I can play in shorts and enjoy a cold cocktail on the veranda in the waning daylight afterward—that, to me, is golf at its best.

Of course, “summer” means different things in different places. In the U.K., for example, it means playing on a baked, brownish links that challenges your imagination—see Nick Faldo’s column for some innovative thinking on that front. In Death Valley, California, it means playing on a baked, whitish course that challenges your sanity—see Peter Richmond’s “Scorecards from the Edge” for his tips on surviving that kind of ordeal.

But in most parts of North America it means the best golf goes on full display, and nowhere is it more welcome than in the northern latitudes, where the playing season can be short. In this issue we celebrate several such locales: Canada’s Vancouver Island (Victoria the Fair,) and the great golf state of Wisconsin (Whistling Through Wisconsin). Of the latter, I’ve heard it said that more golfers per capita reside there than in any other state, and while I can’t verify that, in my experience few players are as enthusiastic about their local links. One such fellow is Mark King, the president of TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, who, when he got wind of our story, wrote for us a missive of his own about the glories of Badger State golf.

Yankee though I may be, I know where King is coming from, having enjoyed these Wisconsin treasures numerous times. For those who have not yet done so, I encourage you to join in the fun.

After all, ’tis the season.