I've always held Labor Day as the most underrated holiday on our calendar. It's a welcome respite from the awfulness of August, while also marking the start of football season. That it never ceases to sneak up on the calendar -- "Woah, we have a three-day weekend?" is an added bonus. Most importantly, it's one of the last junctures of guaranteed good golf weather before fall's volatility sets in. Nevertheless, there are certain precautions one needs to take when heading out to the course. Here are the five keys to playing golf on Labor Day weekend:
Meet or beat the rooster's crow
Weekend golf at a public course can be a slow death. Trying to play 18 during a holiday can take longer than watching the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. If you don't want golf impeding the rest of your weekend itinerary, tee off at sunrise. You'll tour the course in under three hours; by the time you walk off the 18th, your friends will still be in bed.
Otherwise, pack like you're going on a three-day trip. It's going to be a long round.
Embrace your inner Magellan
Everyone has a course they love but can't get to as often as they'd like due to distance. Labor Day provides the chance to visit this cherished estate. Moreover, if this place lies off the beaten path, it could help alleviate the traffic problem you'd likely encounter at a course closer to the population.
It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission
In short, for those with significant others, lie.
While not to the degree of Memorial Day, many have obligations to family functions or cookouts, which negates the vacation aspect of the holiday. To steal away and get to the links, say the grill's propane tank needs to be refilled or that Home Depot is having a Labor Day sale.
As for facing the music when you return four hours later? Well, that's for "future you" to worry about.
Roll with a radio
After all, it's the kickoff to college football! I'll take sitting on the fairway over a couch any day of the week, but there's no denying the national interest in pigskin. Feel free to put a radio in your bag or cart, with the game's action providing a beautiful backdrop to your round.
Keep an eye on the ball...seriously
It's the first week of September, yet you'd be surprised how many leaves are already on the ground. While this rule of thumb should always be exercised, it's especially true during this time of the season.
Because Labor Day is supposed to be a day of rest. God forbid you toil away this time raking leaves in search of a Titleist.