Dewsweeping is a Cool Golf Thing

Play early, play often.
The sun burns off the morning haze at Riviera Country Club in Ormond Beach, Fla.

Even for a morning person, there is an inescapable drowsiness that hovers over the first tee of a golf course at dawn. No matter how well-caffeinated you are, your head and golf bag feel just a little heavier on your shoulders. That donut or breakfast sandwich you picked up and ate on the way is slowly turning the key in your body's ignition. The sun is still stretching its arms out over the landscape, warming away the haze. Why should you be fully awake, either?

There is an entire golf course in front of you, unsullied so far by other golfers and their baggage. This adds a ceremonial air to an otherwise common occasion. You get to be the first to give in to the sucker pin on six, the first to skull it out of the front bunker on 12, the first to birdie 17. With this honor comes responsibility: you are equal parts patron and pacesetter. It is your course, yes, but never completely on your terms.

Maintenance workers' feet and wheels leave meandering patterns on the wet turf, a collaborative land-art abstraction that will dissolve in a couple hours. Putt trails arc across dewy greens (the original Shot Tracer). You can't help but come up short at first. But that's okay. It's still early and you have a lot more golf to play.

March 22, 2019
300 words or less, every other Friday.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
Commented on

Funny, articulate look at morning golf, which is something I eschew for the very points you make here.

You're writing sounds a little like John Updike's stuff on golf, or maybe what E.B. White would have written had had been a golfer. In either case, highly entertaining--I laughed out loud during the second paragraph. Interesting pic of Bruntsfield Links.

Commented on

Thomas, I am very flattered by your kind words. Glad you enjoyed the piece.
Golf Dreams, the compilation of Updike's writings on the game, sits in a prominent place on my bookshelf. I try to spend a little time with it every few months.

More from the author
4 Min Read
January 24, 2022
You probably can't hit a fairway that's 20 yards wide, let alone a fairway that's 1 yard wide.
1 Min Read
January 21, 2022
Construction starts this spring.
4 Min Read
January 20, 2022
A boatload of new golf balls, drivers and more have our credit cards ready to spend.
1 Min Read
January 13, 2022
World-renowned instructor Martin Chuck and fitness guru Don Saladino's at-home drills and golf fitness exercises will get your game in shape.
3 Min Read
January 10, 2022
New ownership will bring lodging and course renovations to beloved 30-year-old property.
3 Min Read
January 10, 2022
Golfers loved the lack of congestion at these popular golf courses in 2021.
6 Min Read
December 27, 2021
If money and private club access were no issue, we've found the 10 destinations to live out your golf dreams.
4 Min Read
January 3, 2022
Want to start 2022 off with some great golf writing? Check out these pieces.
2 Min Read
January 11, 2022
It's time to adjust your expectations, considering how different golf is during the colder, wetter months.
Load More
Now Reading
Dewsweeping is a Cool Golf Thing