Next week is Thanksgiving, if you can believe it. I am not quite sure where this year went. Each year around this time you are reminded to feel thankful for the simple things in life. You’ve seen it on your friends Facebook feeds all month long, “What I am thankful for…” You may glance over them, nodding along that you are thankful for a warm place to sleep and food on your table, too.
But what’s really important is that it’s been a great year for golfers and golf fans. And yes, I’m thankful that I’m healthy, but I’m thankful I’m healthy enough to still have that nice swing and that my back hasn’t given out yet. I’m really thankful for is fresh cut grass, early morning tee times, and my wife who will (hopefully) buy me those new clubs this Christmas.
So next week when we all go around the table and list off the things we are grateful for, here’s what I’m going to say:
1. Warm weather – There’s nothing better than a slightly overcast day, a mild breeze, and an early tee time. I learn to appreciate this weather more around this time of year when the wind chill hits the single digits and snow begins to blanket the course. If you are lucky enough to live in a vacation destination-type place where the weather stays mild all year round, count your blessings twice this year. There’s nothing quite like a pre-Thanksgiving blizzard. What day does spring start again?
2. Caddies – Thank you, caddies, for your continued help with carrying my golf bag so I do not age faster than I already am. Thank you for your advice in difficult situations: Should I use a sand wedge or no? Thank you for keeping me calm in stressful situations and thank you for wearing that goofy all white outfit for my entertainment.
3. My job that pays for my hobby – Because we all know I spend way too much money on all the necessities of golf. Although I may spend my day at the office daydreaming of warm resorts and beautiful cart girls, I know that without my job those would remain distant daydreams.
4. The 19th hole – I’m thankful for a nice cold beer after a long round of 18. I’m thankful for my golf peers who provide riveting conversation and entertainment at the club house.
5. The Golf Channel – Because I don’t know what else would feed my golf habit over the long winter if I didn’t have access to the game 24/7. What did we do before The Golf Channel?
6. Black Friday Deals – I’m grateful for holiday shopping deals that will save me boatloads of money and help me to find the perfect set of clubs for springtime.
7. Cart girls – Thank you for the drinks, the conversation, and… well… looking good.
8. Great Golf Movies – Happy Gilmore. Caddyshack. Tin Cup. Greatest Game Ever Played. A Gentleman’s Game. Humor, drama, underdogs triumph. I’m ever so thankful for these classics.
9. Driving ranges – Thank you, driving range, for being there to help me with my swing, my stance, my grip, and my game. I am grateful that I can stop by after work, grab 50 balls for a few bucks, and work on my technique.
10. Technology – Yes, I’m thankful for my new iPhone and my lighter-than-air laptop and the fact that I can connect to the internet on an airplane. But mostly I’m thankful that technology has improved the game of golf tremendously over the past decade. New and improved clubs and golf balls have made my drives longer, my putts cleaner, and greens flatter.
11. Free Tees – There’s nothing better than free stuff, and when you’re a golfer, free tees are just as awesome as free candy. Thank you to all the pro shops who continue to put out a cup of free tees for our taking. It means a lot.
12. Big Name Athletes – Thank you Tiger, Rory, Phil, and Daly for helping to grow our sport. More now than ever before, the game of golf has become globalized. We are seeing a younger, diverse crowd, and that can’t do anything but help our sport.
13.The Sound of Rattling Metal – When you’ve made that awesome shot, there is no better sound in the world.
So this year for Thanksgiving let’s give thanks for what really matters. Family, friends, food, and the game of golf.