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Rocky View Publishing reporter looking forward to spring and golf season

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 11:03 am

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It was so close that I could literally smell it, but then along came Mother Nature and snatched it away from me.

Golf season. My favourite time of the year. That smell I was referring to is the smell of spring, which briefly teased us all for a few short weeks before a fresh layer of snow blew into town, covering the grass Ė a.k.a. golf courses - once more.

Of the five human senses, the olfactory sense is the most closely tied to memory and for me, the smells of spring immediately conjure up memories of golf.

I may be part of a small group when it comes to that quirk, as golf doesnít tend to be as popular a childhood sport as say, hockey or soccer or baseball. While I do have a lot of great childhood memories of playing soccer and hockey, golf has always had a unique hold on me as it was the first sport I played that felt like it was all my own.

I was put in a very advantageous position as a child, having grandparents whose home backed on to a golf course where my grandfather was a member.

Trips up to their house in the spring time usually involved a quick hello and then running to my grandpaís golf bag to gather up a putter, sand wedge and a few golf balls before marching out through the backyard and onto the second fairway.

In those moments, I was always completely absorbed in my own little world until I was snapped back to reality by my grandma calling to me from the second-storey balcony that a pair of golfers were about to tee off.

Thereís something thatís almost indescribable about golf in that your imagination or fantasy is more closely tied to reality than with most other sports.

Thousands of kids have scored a Stanley Cup winning goal in their driveway, or hit a World Series winning homerun in their backyard. When it comes to golf though, that 15-foot putt you make that wins The Masters feels much more real in that you actually did sink a 15-foot putt on a real golf course.

A six-year-old child is not going to skate through a team of NHL players and score on an NHL goalie to win a Stanley Cup, nor is that same six year old going to hit a 400-foot home run off a major league pitcher.

Putt a small white ball 15 feet and into a hole that is 4.25 inches in diameter, however, and you literally just made a shot that no professional golfer could have done any better.

I canít count the number of times I beat John Daly with a round-saving wedge shot, or clinched a tournament victory with a putt from the fringe but those are the memories that snap to mind every time the first smells of spring waft through the air.

With arguably the most famous golf tournament kicking off in two weeks, itís always right around that time that has been my kick off point to the impending golf season.

The Masters is one of the very few PGA tournaments that I will sit and watch for an entire afternoon and by the time the champion is draped in his green jacket, my golf craving has hit its peak to where Iíve taken my putter from my golf bag and am working on my putting stroke in the living room.

Seeing the greatest golfers on the planet navigate one of the most hallowed grounds in the sport inspires me to want to get out and play, but itís the spring air that reminds me why Iím so passionate about the game.

Perhaps the cruel temperature fluctuations of southern Alberta are a blessing in disguise, as Iíll get to experience the first signs of spring more than once and relive all my fond golf memories from my childhood.

I just hope that it eventually sticks around so I can actually play some golf.


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