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December Golf…Nothing Better

by Jeff Skinner

Ah, December in the Northeast, that time of year when five irons are traded for snow shovels and snow blowers replace golf carts.  It’s never fun to see the golf season come to an end but it is just a matter of time before the Hudson Valley is covered in snow and the courses turn into sledding runs.

But a few days ago there was a brief warm spell that passed through and the weather reports called for partly cloudy and a high of 60 degrees.  So what’s a golfer to do when faced with a late season chance for a bit of December golf?  Take some time off work and go hit the links of course.  That’s just what I and a few buddies did on Tuesday of this week.  And in doing so we experienced something none of us had ever done before.

Of course we weren’t the only die hards that wanted to steal a bit of golf away from the impending winter.  The course looked like it was July, not December as plenty of golfers had the same idea as we did and the tee sheet was fully booked so dozens of us mingled on the range and practice green.

We were playing the Links at Union Vail (a great Stephen Kay design and a must play in the Hudson Valley) with a nice grill room and a patio that overlooks the putting green.  As we were warming up we were treated to the Christmas music that they had playing over the patio speakers.  I am sure they had it pumped up because none of us had ever heard music from that distance before.

And it hit us, we were about to tee off to the sounds of Christmas.  Yes, that old crooner and passionate golfer, Bing Crosby was singing White Christmas as we took the tee.  It was surreal.  We’ve played in December before but never had old Bing play along with us.  It was a great start to a fun afternoon and it seemed every golfer there may have felt the same way.

It didn’t hit the 60’s like predicted but it was comfortable enough and it was a great day.  After our round the grill room was packed and a bit more lively than usual.  I think everyone there had the same feeling we had:  we all were real lucky to be playing golf with our friends so late in the season.

One of my buddies said it best, “Merry Golfing Christmas.”   Absolutely, a Merry Golfing Christmas indeed.

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