I love to play golf. I would play 18 holes, seven days a week if I could. That said, the one time that I do not like the game of golf is when I cannot see or find the ball. When the grass dies in the winter it becomes light brown and almost white. Combine that with a sky that tends to be overcast and it is hard to find the ball when it is hit off the tee or the fairway. With so many neutral colors it can be extremely difficult to find the ball even if it is hit in the middle of the fairway.
The other day, in mid November, I hit a drive and immediately looked at my playing partner and said, “I have no idea.” Anyone that has played a significant amount of golf has uttered these exact words. Sometimes we have an idea as to where the ball is based on how it felt coming off the club face but in all reality, it could be anywhere. My playing partner looked back at me and said, “it is in the middle of the fairway.”
If I had been playing as a single I would have teed up another shot and likely not even looked in the middle of the fairway where the ball was. While playing as a single, there have been times I caught a brief glimpse of the ball going down the middle of the fairway only to drive to where the ball was hit and not find it. This is extremely frustrating.
This time of year, I make certain that I do not play with Pro-V1s or Pro-V1Xs. Even though I want to score well and spin the ball with my wedge game, it is not worth it to hit a great drive that is impossible to find because it rolled just off the fairway. One of the reasons I struggle with this issues is my home course has Bermuda fairways. Bermuda fairways swallow golf balls and being off the fairway by three yards could mean a lost ball. It is demoralizing to lose a $5 ProV1 because your driver was 10 yards off target.
Every single time I play with people in the winter I ask them if they can see the flight of the ball. Most of them agree with me that it is much harder to see the ball in the winter months. I am certain a lot of this has to do with the fact that the sun is in a different spot of the sky. In North Carolina, it gets dark around 5:00 pm after we fall back with the clocks. This makes getting 36 holes in very challenging. It is even more challenging if you are driving around looking for your ball in the fairway or just off the fairway in the bermuda rough.
One of the reasons I build a consistent swing was due to pace of play and not losing balls. My driver swing is ridiculously short but I can hit the ball 250 to 260 yards and it remains in play. There are times in which I will slice the ball but it is not something that is going to take 10 or 15 minutes to find. Generally speaking, I hit 11 or 12 of 14 fairways in a round at my home course. If I did not have a problem losing balls in winter months I firmly believe I would not have the consistent driver swing that I do.
If you want to remain consistent and find your ball I would strongly suggest playing with someone else and shortening your swing. Playing as a single in the winter months is brutal. While I love getting out the one time I have to say no to golf is when I have to play as a single. Rather than going out and losing a sleeve of balls, hit some range balls and stay in during these winter months. You will have no trouble finding some playing partners in March and April of 2015.