Covered greens and a frost delay

The original plan was to sneak in a round at Ocean View today — the forecast promised upper 40s and occasional sunshine, the one warm day in two weeks of where’s-the-global-warming-when-we-need-it cold — but ….

If you have a tendency to slice, check the traffic before you tee off on 15.

The good folks at OV called yesterday to let us know many of their greens were staying covered and only temporary greens would be available. That was good of them. It was also good of them to arrange a 9:20 a.m. tee time for us at Kempsville Greens Golf Course in Virginia Beach — another of the courses in the world’s cheapest membership package.

But it was nowhere near 40 degrees at 9:20 and a frost delay remained in effect. They said it would be about another hour. They got that just about right … and then the temperature rose quickly and the sun came out … and all in all it turned out to be quite a nice day of golf. (Parring five of the last six holes does improve one’s evaluation.)

The course was about what you’d expect given the weather. Brown fairways, a bit shaggy. Bunkers still frozen at the beginning, not bad at the end. Now, about those greens….

The par-three 17th hole. Go up a club if it’s cold!

First, that frost that delayed the round ran quite deep. On the first par three, Nuther-Duffer hit a nice lofty nine-iron to the center of the green. The ball bounced 10 to 15 feet in the air — it looked like it had hit a cart path — and ended up 15 yards or so beyond the green. The green was frozen solid — it felt like a car path when you stepped onto it.

And thanks to some combination of ice and a few days of missed maintenance due to sub-freezing weather, they were slow slow slow. Putts came up short all day long (for everyone, not just Nuther-Duffer, just to be clear).

The other joy about frozen ground — trying to get a tee in the ground. You had to hold the tee with two hands, then put most of your body weight on it — a pretty sight. Someone really needs to invent a threaded tee for days like this, something you can screw into the tundra. (Go ahead and steal that idea, just be sure you call it the Nuther-Duffer TwisTee. You could design it so that it worked with a spike-replacement tool.)

Not where you want to be hitting your third shot on 18.

But, by day’s end, the greens had thawed, as had the bunkers and tee boxes (and the scores, which had been in a serious deep freeze) and it began to feel like a round of golf. We began to think about taking off a layer or two.

Then the wind came up. And the clouds came out. And the temperature began to drop. And winter returned. And we high-tailed it to the parking lot.

Now, six hours later, it’s 36 degrees — which happens to be the highest temperature in the forecast for the next eight days.

Top Golf, anyone?

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