Last Fairway of the Day

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I never hit the golf course early in the morning. Teeing off to the sun coming up was not for me. However, playing late in the day is something I always enjoyed (except for the mosquitoes). Being on a course early and late evenings appealed to me. Especially when there was enough clouds and other particulates (great word, rolls right off the tongue) in the sky to make for a gorgeous prelude to sunset.

I often paint sunsets, I just love seeing them, and sometimes will paint them with a golf theme. This is my latest one and comes from many memories of being on the last fairway or last few fairways heading back to the clubhouse. It’s a soothing time of day. Yes, the shadows and loss of light did make it hard to see where the ball landed. But let’s be honest, we seem to have that problem even during the brightest time of the day. “Did you see where it landed? What do you mean, you weren’t watching?” Yeah, yeah.

Evenings often bring out sounds and sights you wouldn’t see during the mid-morning to mid-afternoon times. Families of deer nibbling grass on the fairways. Rabbits and (depending on where you are) foxes, coyotes, racoons. Birds are settling down for the night and singing their end of day songs. Stars are starting to light up in the darker areas of the sky. Colors are less washed out.

Even if you weren’t having your best day on the course, something about that last fairway when the sun is getting ready for bed makes it a little bit better. At least it did for me. Hopefully, for you too.

Birdie on the Back Nine

If you’ve been reading any of my latest posts, you will know that I used to play golf. Wasn’t great, wasn’t terrible, but loved playing. At the time I was a member of the Executive Ladies Golf Association and our local chapter played a lot all over Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. We also played in some regionals in other states to the north. Anyway, recently, for some reason, I’ve been thinking about those days.

Today’s topic? Birdies.

Birdies, for me did happen once in a while, but they were not the norm on my scorecard. However, because of where I played, I got to enjoy many birdies of the avian variety. Birds and golf courses. They go hand in hand.

One time when I was working as a volunteer for the PGA Tour when it was at English Turn in New Orleans, the foursome teeing off had to wait while a male duck chased a female duck all over the front area of the tee box. Both were quacking like crazy and everyone was laughing their heads off. Took several minutes for the crazed courtship to careen down to the wooded area next to us. The starter had some funny things to say which only prolonged the laughter and the delay.

All kinds of feathered friends live at golf courses. Ducks, geese, wild turkeys, and I kid you not… peacocks. Yes indeed! Imagine getting ready to hit your ball and a peacock lets loose with a scream. One of my foursome almost let go of her club on that swing. I believe that was on a course somewhere near Lumberton, Mississippi. Really pretty course. Have no idea if it’s still open and now wonder if the peacocks are still around.

I have to say, of all the birds found on courses, I do believe that I enjoy seeing herons the most. All kinds and sizes have patiently watched me play by. They are so stately and quite elegant when they take flight. Watching one always seemed to have a calming effect on me.

At least until I sliced my shot. Oh well. I’ll just paint them now.

Bogey on a Par 3

If you’re a golfer, current or past, you know that on some Par 3 holes you can wind up with a score on your card that sure isn’t a three. Unless you are a scratch golfer of course. Not me. Far from one. I was a proud mostly 38ish handicapped player. My game was handicapped, not me. Though some may think so if they saw my scorecard. Anyway, I pretty much looked forward to the par 3 holes. It gave me a chance to feel like par on a hole was within my reach and on the rare occasion, I got the chance to score a birdie on more than one.

Nice memories. Now back to the topic.

Having spent most of my golfing life on Gulf Coast courses (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida), I have seen a lot of things that got in the way of my advancement to the green. Often, these things were not to be concerned about. They were enjoyable to see. But then again, sometimes they did cause some degree of “oh sh@*”. You know, things you really don’t want to encounter. Like gators.

More often than not, these watchers of the action would be idling in the waters near the fairway staring at you. I presume to make sure you didn’t give your ball a little nudge out of the rough or because they were mentally preparing you for a new recipe. A few times, as we’ve seen on television, these golf gators would be casually strolling across the fairway making sure you knew who the real Marshall was on the course. One time however, it appeared that one had decided to take a darn nap! Great.

I will admit, in this painting, I did move the gator closer to the green than what actually happened. That’s the thing about us artists, we often like to paint the idea of something. Makes things so much more interesting.

For me, bogeys on holes were most welcome. Double bogeys were ok too. Gators near the green? Not ok. We made a lot of noise and eventually the party crasher slunk back into the water. Don’t remember what I scored on that hole and after all these years not sure which course in Louisiana… just somewhere near New Orleans.

If you are heading to a course anytime soon, I hope you enjoy your day. Stay away from bogeys in the form of gators and the most dreaded thing of all…. stay away from snowmen. (wink, wink).

Morning Tee: Drink It In

Some people like their “tea” as in the liquid stuff that you enjoy hot or cold at various times of the day. Others, like so many I know, prefer theirs to be in the form of a golf ball sitting on a long narrow piece of wood. Ah yes, watching the sunrise for that first shot from the tee box. The early morning tee that some say is better than any jolt of java.

I have to admit I haven’t played golf in years. It has become too painful in too many joints though I can’t make myself get rid of any of my equipment… hope lingers. However, I still have oodles of fond memories of all the years and all the courses I have played. Which is why I enjoy painting golf landscapes, mostly made up of from memories and a lot of “artistic license”.

I must confess. I have never started off a golf day at the crack of dawn. Those who do are a different breed from myself. No, I was a later in the day kind of golfer. I preferred watching sunsets on the course. That, however, is not the topic of this particular missive.

I do like sunrises and have often painted my version of them. So…. for all those golfers who love their morning tee, this little painting is a toast to you. Drink in your mornings with gusto and great satisfaction. The air is cool, the breeze slight, and the company jovial.

It will be a good day.