The News from Lake of the Woods, March 6, 2017
Well, it was a quiet week at Lake of the Woods Golf Course. Because the previous weekend’s temperatures rose into the 70s, this weekend’s 50s and low 60s, paired with constant 15-25mph winds, scared some people away from the course.
Apparently they have forgotten what the weather is usually like the first weekend of March in east-central Illinois.
Not all of us, though. No, there were a few hardy, blue-fingered souls out for morning rounds on Saturday, with the mercury barely above 40. And that wind.
“Da vind, dere. Uff da!” as my Norwegian grandfather would have said.
Despite several swing-constricting layers, I hit the ball straight, scrambled like Phil, and shot a respectable 40 on the front side. Then, at the turn, the sun came out and I was warm anyway from walking up and down the hills with my pushcart, so I took off a layer of clothing.
“Now,” I thought, “I’ll be able to swing better!”
And from the tee shot on 10 throughout the rest of the back nine, I hit shot after miserable, awful, lousy shot. On 11, I hit the ground 6 inches behind the ball with my driver. On 15, it was a foot, and the flying mud knocked the ball off the tee.
Uff da, indeed.
I believe “Collapsasaurus” was the term I heard applied to that back nine. And deservedly so.
Sunday was another day, however, and though I started off less efficiently on the front side, and started off the back with three double-bogeys in a row ("Not this again!"), I rallied and played the last five holes in even par for an 86. Respectable (for me) in early-season play.
Best part of Sunday, though, was on the third tee, when we spotted a mature male bald eagle riding the powerful winds over Lake of the Woods (it’s an actual lake, too) and then over the golf course itself. The wingspan must have been seven feet across, and it never flapped them – just angled them to surf the air currents.
Eagles don’t forget how to fly. The muskrat in the ponds on Hole 3 don’t forget how to swim. The woodchucks living in burrows near the 15th tee box don’t forget how to do…whatever it is woodchucks do. Why is it that sometimes I feel like I completely forget how to swing a golf club?
At least I haven’t forgotten what the weather should be like this time of year. Or to appreciate every minute of it. Next weekend it might snow.
That’s the news from Lake of the Woods for this week.
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