A winter lagniappe is a Cool Golf Thing

There's nothing like bonus golf.
Fenwick is that rare New England course that looks as good in winter as in summer.

One of my favorite words is "lagniappe" (pronounced "LAN-yap"). It's a Louisiana French term to describe an unexpected bonus or gift. An extra beignet on top of your order at Cafe du Monde or an extra couple chicken tenders from Popeye's, for example.

Cruel as they usually are, the golf gods will give us the occasional lagniappe, too, in the form of the odd stretch of mild weather in the cold months of the year that prompts a handful of local courses to open up, turning latent cabin fever into some incremental revenue. Bonus winter golf is a two-way lagniappe: both the golfers and the courses win.

Growing up in Connecticut, I would cherish the handful of golfable days in the normally foreboding months of December, January and February. On several occasions when we were kids, my friend Adam's grandparents would drive us down to the Connecticut coast to play off of temporary tee boxes and onto frosty, nevertheless open greens at the likes of Shennecossett Golf Course in Groton or Fenwick Golf Club in Old Saybrook. While up north for the holidays, Adam sent me a photo from the second hole during a round on a brilliant late-December afternoon at Fenwick, a charming pre-1900 nine-holer with some stunning views of Long Island Sound. Primarily known as a low-key summer spot for the likes of Katharine Hepburn and others, it has also been a winter relief for golfers eager to seize the day and scratch a long-nagging itch.

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December 20, 2019
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Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
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A winter lagniappe is a Cool Golf Thing