Up here in the northeastern states, the day’s are notably shorter than they were in June and July. The sun dips below the horizon closer to 7:00pm than 8:00pm these days, the air is drier and a tad chillier, but the sun is out and the skies are typically clear.
It’s a wonderful month for golf in these parts, and in most of the country. Probably better than any other month to play golf.
I know the arguments from the other side. The days are too short so afternoon tee times can lead to finishing in the dark (or not finishing it all), life has returned to normal with more weekend plans and less free summer afternoons.
But when things fall into place and you are afforded some time to play golf in September, it’s a delight. The unbearable humidity is just about gone, as are the days of sweaty palms, sweat-soaked golf shirts, searing sunshine, and threatening thunder clouds that can drag you off the course.
Instead, you trade in the technical sweat-wicking fabric for an extra layer, maybe even a pair of pants. You can walk a full 18 without the strap of your bag feeling like a used sponge.
Rounds in September are comfortable, and they also are probably some of your best. A summer spent playing golf means your game should be sharp. The shortening days could also mean you’re squeezing in 9-holes on a random evening, instead of driving past the course because you figure you have all season to play. There’s less to take for granted in September because we’re running out of time.
September also means the disappearance of the fair-weather golfer. The courses typically get a bit less busy, sneak out on a sunny 68 degree day and you won’t meet much resistance and slow play. If you’re not a fan of the NFL, Sunday afternoons are suddenly wide open, as the flat brim, white belt, blast-Jimmy Buffet-on-the-speaker crowd has moved on to playing Draft Kings. In New England, many fans have a second team to watch down in Tampa Bay. That might mean 3 more hours of “couch potatoing” for them and 3 more hours of lower your handicap for you before the season closes out.
If you pick the right places to play in September, the views are also wonderful. A bit of foliage always makes things prettier. Drive out to central or western Massachusetts for a round and take in the scenery.
The northeast golf season is well into its back nine in September, which gives it a bitter-sweet feeling. But it also makes us all appreciate the rounds a bit more knowing there aren’t many of them left.
So be sure to find some time to get out and enjoy fall golf. Just make sure to club up, because the ball won’t fly as far anymore.