My Usual GameJanuary 4, 2015

Beating the snow, plus exclusive footage of a rare 86-stroke penalty

The forecast for Sunday was terrible, but the one for Saturday was pretty good -- "snow and ice, then rain; fog" -- so we shifted our Sunday game to Saturday.

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There were several guys standing around outside the golf shop at Candlewood Valley when we arrived: never a good sign:

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The problem was that the temperature was only a few degrees below freezing, and the superintendent was worried that the greens might not be frozen solid enough for him to ignore the frost. He went out to inspect the course, and we went out for breakfast, at a diner down the road. Then we came back and hung out in the golf shop, to await the superintendent's verdict:

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We also chatted up some of the other guys who were waiting. This guy, whose name is Greg, showed me a gadget called a PutterDart, which he sells and may have invented. It has lots of uses. There's no PutterDart webpage, and Greg doesn't seem to be on Facebook, but if you're interested in learning more you can get in touch with him at PutterDart@aol.com.

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We got the all-clear, finally, at 10:00. Ed Slattery, the head pro, said we could play as a fivesome. He also let us start on the tenth hole, so we had plenty of empty golf course ahead of us.

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Addison was wearing shorts, so, in accordance with our winter rules, he got to be a 2 instead of a 0. But his socks were so tall that they functioned almost like pants, and to keep them from sliding down to his ankles he was holding them up with the rubber bands from two bunches of asparagus -- which provided exactly the right amount of tension, he said. At some point, I guess, the Committee will have to rule on maximum sock height, as well as on artificial support.

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The Housatonic River, which runs through the course, was flowing, but the puddles and ponds were all frozen:

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On our ninth hole, Other Gene incurred a rare 86-stroke penalty, for repeatedly grounding his club after hitting his tee shot into a hazard:

We kept a weather eye on the weather with Raindar, my favorite Android precipitation monitor:

And, luckily, despite our one-hour frost delay, the snow didn't reach us until we were making our way up the fairway on our seventeenth hole:

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Even on our eighteenth, putting was still possible:

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A final swig of Jagermeister, the official cold-weather intoxicant of the Sunday Morning Group, in the parking lot:

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Then lunch at the Cookhouse -- where, once again, we ran into the PutterDart guy. He was hard to recognize without that hat:

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MyUsualGame

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