Monday, 11 February 2008

Summer Weather, Winter Tees

On the other side of the world (climatically speaking) there's a new Star of India but here in the South West we are basking under the same sunny skies we enjoyed last month in Cornwall. On Saturday it was warm enough for shirt sleeves (pity I was wearing two sweaters!) and Sunday much the same. Sadly the summer weather doesn't seem to be helping my stubbornly winter style of golf (uninspired) and I'm feeling as cross as ever about the winter golfer's bugbear, the dreaded mats. If I'm off form (yes, you guessed) it really doesn't help to have to step up on a niggardly square of green astro-turf flung down at random on a strip of muddy and uneven grass. These particular mats have a 'choice' (LOL) of two tee-pegs (neither of them the height I'd like) and precious little room to take a practice swing or adjust my stance. They're also positioned in a completely haphazard direction which may or may not line you up with the fairway, the pin, or the nearest water hazard.
Recent visits to local courses show that around here mats are inevitable in the winter months, but that it's possible to provide a much better teeing surface than what we're having to put up with. Saltford Golf Club, for instance, has good size mats with slots for 'real' tee-pegs. The mats are set on larger bases of an open design that lets air travel between the two surfaces, a solution that should please the green-keepers as well as the winter golfer. Our club is mainly 'pay and play' and has little or no regard for the interests of the membership, but surely investing in some decent winter tees would be a good business decision. The course stays open in pretty much any weather and could attract players from a number of the local clubs that reguarly close after heavy rain, but if any self-respecting golfer turned up at the moment, they would take a look at our winter tees and probably run a mile.

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