Yearning for golf season is par for the course

February 17, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

Driving to work takes me along the I-70 route from Frederick to Hagerstown.

While obviously paying attention to the highway, the drive time affords some opportunity for the mind to meander in and out of various worlds.

When I get to the Middletown area, my mind focuses on Maryland National Golf Course, which is visible from the highway, especially with the white stuff that still occupies a fair amount of acreage.

Granted, the snow is melting but it can't go away fast enough for my liking.

As long as I can remember, it's usually been around this time of year that I have already made the comment to my wife that "the golf pros are on TV and baseball's spring training is just around the corner."


In the time since I've been in this area I've been fortunate to play many fine golf courses and there is no doubt there will be some type of plan to visit them all again.

At one time I used to be a pretty darn good golfer, but as age has crept upward so have the scores. But that has never been a detriment to my fondness of the game.

I still have pleasant memories of my visits in 2000 to Ireland and in 2001 to Scotland, visits I hope to repeat in the near future.

St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal St. Lytham, Ballybunion, Portmarnock - the list could go on and on - of the world famous courses I have been fortunate enough to play. And because I mention them, that is not to say I haven't found many wonderful courses in the Tri-State area.

In fact, there was enough of an area cleared of snow in my back yard over the weekend to get a lob wedge out and start striking some balls.

Oh, I just close my eyes at times (not while I'm driving past a course) and think it's the middle of the summer.

Warm weather is my fun-filled time of year. I love the crack of the bat and the pop of the leather and the boys of summer. But it's the whoosh of my driver making zing, ping, bing-type contact with the little white ball. It's watching that ball glide through the air and coming to rest in a perfect location in the fairway (yeah, right). It's the third shot to the green on a par 5 that puts you in birdie range on the green - and you make it!

It has become part of my golf-weather schedule to get home late from The Morning Herald and right back up the following morning at daybreak.

I won't give it a second thought to four hours, maybe five, of sleep when I get to work at Holly Hills Country Club in Ijamsville, Md. And if not to work there at my "senior-type moonlighting" job, then I'll be teeing it up.

Yep, that's what I'm yearning for in my free time.

Dagummit, I'm itching to get out of hibernation and get on with life.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. His column appears ever other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5311, ext 2311, or by e-mail at:

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