Amid this foggy, drizzly, and dank Saturday, I trudged off to Olney Golf Park (they have heated stalls) to hit a bucket and try to find that magical something that everyone is looking for. I like going early for a host of reasons (it’s quieter; towards the end you had a couple Chatty Charlie types show up who were kind enough to share their worldview with everyone within earshot), and their mats are usually in good shape (yes- the bag tag is from Links at Lighthouse Sound).
Feeling better than I have in recent weeks, I’m trying to get in some practice so that hopefully I can get off to a good start this year and find that form that I last had in the fall of 2015, when I seemed to have found something. I’m ready to chuck 2016 off and try to pretend it never happened because I’m not sure there’s anything worth salvaging.
In short, now is a great time to get out there and hit a bucket. It’s not that cold currently, and just think- you’ll be that much further on when the season gets going in full.
With Trump’s swearing-in Friday, several golf magazines are putting out special covers. I’ll leave the wisdom of this to others, but I will point out that the idea that Trump is the only President who’s an avid golfer is ridiculous. Eisenhower, JFK, Nixon, Ford, Bush 41 (get well soon Pappy, you thoroughly decent man and fast pace of play demon), Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama were all golfers. In short, a majority of Presidents in the last 60+ years have played to varying levels.
On that point, I was more than a bit disgusted at how Woodmont Country Club in Rockville acted with respect to the idea of a membership for Obama. They’re a private club (and a good one), but this garners attention for all the wrong reasons. They’re a private club and if they don’t want to extend a membership to the former President, it’s their business but the optics are, frankly, terrible (rather than go for a grandstand move that makes them look small, simply keep quiet if you don’t want to offer a membership). I’ve felt (and still do) that Congressional or TPC Potomac (Columbia CC and Chevy Chase are closer but not sure how their membership feels about dealing with Secret Service) are better options (closer to his Kalorama house). Still, their rationale makes them look downright silly. It’s exactly what a club that has hosted US Open sectional qualifiers should NOT be getting involved in. The area already has one private club that has outdated membership policies (Burning Tree); it doesn’t need another one.
As to POTUS 45, a reminder that his Virginia namesake club (former Lowe’s Island club) is hosting the Senior PGA Championship this year, and his New Jersey course is hosting the US Women’s Open. And yes- I wholly disagree with Trump that golf is only for the elite. It’s not. Every weekend every public course in the DMV is filled with golfers of various abilities; we may not agree on politics and our playing abilities may be all over the board, but we all love this wonderful game (I’m lucky to have played with many different people of all walks of life). He’ll never set foot on a public course, and he’s the poorer for it.
EMPTYING THE BUCKET
I’m glad to hear about Sugarloaf Social Club’s love of West Potomac Golf Course; it would be wonderful to see this course restored and improved. The location and vistas aren’t available anywhere else. This course should remain open to the public and it should be one of the gems of the DMV. There’s no reason this can’t happen.
No word on a re-opening date for Timbers at Troy. Hopefully the (so far) mild winter is helping them progress to a late winter/early spring re-opening. The layout remains one of the best in the region; hopefully the refurbishing and repairs will bring course conditions up to par.