Editor’s note: As we’re reaching further into autumn, the golf section comes to a close this week. In anticipation of the end of the golf season, we’re reprinting an article from Sean Zak about preparing golf equipment for storage until spring.
If you’ve had enough golf this year, if it was filled with enough birdies to remain content through the winter months, or it was too bogeyed to make another 18 seem worth it, there’s plenty more to be done before the season is actually 100 percent finished. It’s called fall cleanup.
Before making the 14-rung trek up the attic ladder, fall cleanup starts with taking care of your bag as if it did something good for you this season (i.e. wash those golf clubs really well). Horseshoe Bay is the only course in the county that offers a wholesome club washing to each of its players, so unless you’re lucky enough to end your season at Horseshoe Bay, you might have to do the club-bathing yourself. Believe me, it’s worth it.
A bucket of water and a towel from the garage is all it’ll take to leave your set in pristine shape waiting for the opportune time, temperature and location to be hit again in the spring. You never know when that gorgeous combination of those three – time, temp, location – turns an early April Sunday into the perfect chance for a quick nine holes at Peninsula State Park. The courses will surely be ready, but it’s up to you to make your bag ready as well.
Another fall cleanup duty is taking a look at every round played that season. Tracking the number of rounds played is a good way of deciding whether or not golf is really an endless pursuit worth chasing. You sure wouldn’t be unique in bidding the game farewell for a year in favor of some other hobby. It’s no secret that golf isn’t a cheap endeavor (and not many people are blessed with the connections to make it so).
Analyzing your individual golf year and how much it cost you is any easy way of enjoying the game even more. If those 10 extra rounds did nothing for your handicap (and much worse to your wallet) it’s not the worst thing to scale back. At four hours per round, that’s a full additional workweek that could be spent elsewhere. Twenty hours reading and 20 hours biking might make you feel twice as great about your Sundays (and keep you yearning for the next tee time even more).
In looking at each round, the final exploit in a golfer’s fall cleanup itinerary is fashion related. Spend enough time around the game and your golfing wardrobe will naturally expand. It happens to me each year. And so, the end of the season is a great time to look at that wardrobe. If you haven’t touched that wretched polo in a year, it’s time to give it to Goodwill or the nearest clothing drive. Slimming down the wardrobe will always make room for expanding it again, and who hates doing that?
It is really easy to forget about the fall golf cleanup. Much like your front lawn, the ambition to keep your golf possessions looking good becomes much more expendable come late fall. However, a little fall maintenance can go a long way to preserving your equipment and pride in your game. It’ll make that 14-rung trip up the attic ladder much easier in the spring. You can thank me in April…or whenever the Wisconsin winter decides to end.