Christmas In The Desert

The bad news is that our club is closed on Christmas day. The good news is that you can still play the courses. But you have to walk. There are no carts, there are no services and you can’t tee off until 9:00 AM as a precaution against those mornings where there might be early-morning frost. But you can play.

So you have to remember to bring a golf towel and that you can’t hit any balls before you go. It’s like when you were a kid: straight from the parking lot to the tee, first come, first served. Because it’s Christmas day, the courses are mostly deserted first thing, but politeness and good cheer sort out the batting order when necessary. People straggle in, tee it up, take a couple extra practice swings, take a shot, heft their bags onto their backs and off they go.

Until recently, my wife didn’t play, so it was an opportunity for just the two of us to stroll the course with me hitting golf shots. It was more walking with a beautiful girl on a beautiful golf course on a beautiful day than any attempt at posting a score. “Oh, here’s an interesting shot. Come’re and give me a kiss.”

Like most clubs, there are standards, norms and dress codes. On Christmas day, things are more relaxed. A biker waves as he peddles up the cart path. There’s no annoying clatter of the beverage cart. There are no Players’ Assistants driving against the flow and politely waving. Just a leisurely walk in the park.

There are surely other people on the course, but you can’t see them…until you come down the 18th fairway, look across the expanse of the wide, desert wash to the 10th tee and see four players, three house guests, two kids and two dogs strolling off the tee. 

A perfect Christmas day round.

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