Sorry folks. It's true: summer's over.
The conclusion of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup Playoffs and the start of football season signals that. Fall isn't technically here, but with most children back to school, it might as well be. It's time for a lifestyle change. Fewer shorts and t-shirts. More pants and sweatshirts. Less beer and more liquor-infused hot chocolate.
Don't get depressed. Fall is my favorite time of year. Football provides new avenues of entertainment and conversations (and heartbreak). The weather is still great into mid-October (well, most places). Best of all, you can still play golf across the country, often with fewer crowds and smaller prices.
For a minute, let's reminisce about what was so great about our games in the summer that was in the latest version of The List ...
What was that one great round?
For me, the highlight was Tobiano in Kamloops. It's such a good course in an amazing setting overlooking Kamloops Lake. In a boys-against-girls grudge match, I was the dog of the litter. Thankfully, I played solid enough on a tough course to walk away without the L. Winning the final hole to notch a tie felt like victory. Cruising the lake after the round made life even better. Swimming and cocktails were definitely involved.
Tell us about the highlights of your summer - your score, your round, your trip - in the comments below.
Did you 'shoot a score'?
Every year, I take aim at breaking 80. It's no problem most summers, but unfortunately, it hasn't happened for me in 2019.
I got close with an 81 at Talking Rock, a really beautifully wooded track in Chase, B.C., near Kamloops. For me, it's usually one swing that's a deal-breaker. An errant drive into the woods or an approach shot into a creek turns what should be a par into a triple. It's a disease. Hopefully you fared better at beating your magic number than I did.
What was your great summer golf adventure?
What would summer be if not for a great golf adventure? Whether it's a day, a weekend or a week-long getaway, hopefully everybody had that memorable golf trip.
I had some really cool summer trips - the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, walking Pebble Beach the final two rounds of the U.S. Open, visiting three resorts in Wisconsin, six rounds in Kamloops, British Columbia - but the highlight had to be a family trip to the Canadian Rockies. It was the best of both worlds, entertaining my wife and two teens with our first glacier tour and hike around Lake Louise, all while getting to play five great courses - Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Mount Kidd and Mount Lorette at Kananaskis and Stewart Creek. Heaven on earth if you ask me.
Did you achieve your goals?
How many goals did you set and subsequently reach this summer? Both Club Pro Guy and Justin Thomas hit a few of theirs according to this tweet. Me? Not so much.
I set a low bar that I'm not sure I cleared. After a series of health issues - an emergency hernia surgery and golfer's elbow - I just wanted to feel good enough to enjoy the game. All the wear-and-tear of travel and hundreds of rounds over the years were starting to manifest. In the last month or so, as I've started to play more, my game has been rounding into shape. I'm feeling better physically and that has me better prepared mentally to grind out a score on occasion.
Did you unleash a new weapon in your arsenal?
Hopefully you debuted a new weapon on the golf course: a new club, a new swing or a new shot. Something new always energizes your game, and it's that chase for perfection that keeps us coming back.
For me, it was a more confident putting stroke. I didn't get a new putter or read some mind-bending tip in a magazine. I've just decided to be more aggressive on putts statistics say I can make. I'm holing more putts from 15 feet and in because I believe I'm going to make them. It's fun to think that way.