During the summer months of my golfing youth I loved playing a late day “twilight” nine with my father.
We’d arrive at the course between 5:00 and 6:00 PM and always find a group of evening golfers to join with for a game. And, as the season moved to the latter part of the summer, we’d frequently finish these twilight rounds in the dusk of the soon to be darkness of night.
The ninth hole at the course we played was an uphill par four of about 320 yards. I vividly remember, to get a hint of direction, having to lie on the ground of that tee as each player hit their final tee shot into the
waning evening light. Frequently, the last last few groups of the day would join together, and the final hole was played in an eight-some or sometimes a twelve-some!
By the time it came to hit the approach to the ninth green it would
almost be dark; the shot had to be played by feel and sound.
Amazingly, I had some of my best shots to that green without being able to see the flag, or even the ball I was trying to hit. What a great surprise it would be to find your shot had ended up close to the hole!
Some of my best memories of golf are those twilight rounds. On the course with my father and a group of golfers who truly loved the game. Making it even better was the evening air and the stillness that came with the approaching night. This experience was probably best described by Charles McGrath in his long ago Golf Digest article Twilight Zone – Playing Golf at Dusk.
”The shots you hit at this magic and spooky hour have a kind of poignancy about them-a sweetness-that comes, I suppose, from some inbred, ancestral awareness that the day is always getting shorter. We’re biologically programmed to be home before dark, before the lanterns are lit, but a part of us still wants to say, as we used to yell to our mothers when they were urging us to bed: Just a few more minutes. Please?”
Long summer days are soon to be upon us; there will be plenty of daylight to play some golf in the evenings. Unfortunately, here in New England, the summer season does not last long. Take advantage of the long days and the stillness of the approaching evening air. Get out and play some twilight golf… experience for yourself the magic of golf at dusk.