Golfers: address your clocks and refresh your golf course website's twilight rate page. Daylight saving time is officially upon us.
Some days on the calendar have special meaning for golfers, and this weekend is among the best of them. We can all agree that losing an hour of sleep in the wee hours of Sunday morning is a fair trade for more evening golf.
Daylight saving time is great because for those of us who want to get in a few holes after work, it's suddenly a lot easier to get in 9 or possibly more holes, even if you tee off at 5 or 5:30 p.m. This is also when many 9-hole weekday leagues begin their seasons, not to mention beginner clinics.
At minimum, you can wind down after work with a large bucket at the driving range.
Golf courses are a little less busy in the evening than during peak morning times. They're also drier, which means you can hit longer drives. So what if bunkers might have footprints from the day's sloppy players and the cup edges are a little frayed? Give me twilight golf over morning prime-time every day.
That's the home-game advantage during daylight saving time. When you're traveling, daylight savings is meaningful because many of us don't want to have to wake up too early on vacation. What's more, we can enjoy daylight into the evening, whether we're getting in a twilight replay round or just want to hang out in town or on the beach with a little extra sun and warmth at dinner time. Keep an eye out for unlimited golf and free-replay specials at multi-course resorts. Golf courses are busy these days, but go midweek and you can play scores of holes in one day alone.
If you couldn't tell, I'm jacked up for Spring Forward. It's my favorite day on the golf calendar. We've created a list of other extraordinary days on a golfers' calendar. Where does daylight saving time stack up on your annual golf calendar? Let us know in the comments below!
Round 1 of the Masters (April 8th, 2021)
The Masters is the bona fide biggest day on the golf calendar. It is the unofficial start of golf season for golfers in the north. The combination of hallowed grounds and exciting golf shots from the game's best players get every golfer's blood pumping. On Thursday, the featured groups start early in the morning and the emergence of the sun onto fairways is an awakening for us all. And while COVID-19 robbed us of a spring event in 2020 that was pushed to November, in 2021 we will get our second Masters in five months. We're already ready for our Amen Corner feeds.
Your home golf course's opening day
For those of you in the north, you probably subscribe to your home course's emails or social feeds. They might tease you with pictures of fairways covered in snow, and then one day they post a pic of the maintenance crew on the course, and soon after the flag sticks appear (now we're talkin'!). Opening day at your home course is a special day full of promise. Conditions may be as rough as your swing, but who cares? Brighter, warmer days are ahead, and you're not leaving one day of the season to waste.
Mother's Day/Father's Day (May 9th/June 20 2021)
Perhaps the best gift you can give a parent on their special day is a round of golf. Or, for kids who don't play golf, giving Mom or Dad morning duties off and letting them go play a round works as well. Father's Day also coincides with the U.S. Open, so tickets to the event make a favorite splurge gift or trip for golfing families.
Your club/city championship
For those serious amateur golfers out there, a tournament on the schedule is motivation for the entire year. This might be your home club championship or big annual member-guest event. For muni golfers out there, it could be a regional amateur tour "major" or city or county championship. Those of you with really serious game probably have your eyes on U.S. Mid-Am Qualifying or even the U.S. Open or U.S. Amateur.
Your buddies trip/outing
Usually around the holidays, group texts begin flooding in about when and where next year's buddies trip will take place. Everyone is excited for their chance to meet up with old friends who live in different cities. The trash-talk starts months out and friends share photos of new equipment, clothes or accessories bought in the lead-up to the trip. For the recreational golfers less interested in serious tournaments, the annual buddies trip is their Ryder Cup.
Open Championship weekend (July 17-18, 2021)
Each July, The Open Championship has a special place in North American golfers' hearts. While many of us in the South are enduring heat, we wake up early in the morning, brew coffee and turn on the TV to see the leaders in a major championship already on the course out in pullovers and battling breezy, firm conditions. The action ends by lunchtime in the U.S., affording us plenty of time to go play 18 holes ourselves. And during that round, we might even try playing the ground game a little more than we usually do after watching the creativity of links golf earlier in the day.
No need to choose between playing golf and watching golf during The Open. We can do both!
It's your birthday and you can play golf if you want to. Golfers are easy to shop for, and chances are your birthday means the possibility of a new driver or accessory. For busy parents out there, if you were ever going to get a hall-pass for 18 holes (is 36 pushing it?), your birthday is the day. You may even get your round paid for by your friends or spouse, and many local courses offer birthday specials, including free 19th hole drinks or other perks. Last year, I got the most out of my birthday weekend by leaving the family behind and going out of town for a buddies trip (though admittedly I'd better not make a habit of that).
Black Friday (November 26, 2021)
By now, most of us will admit that Black Friday isn't so much for purchasing gifts for others as it is scoring gifts for ourselves. Deep discounts on golf apparel, accessories and equipment flood our inbox and social feeds. Many brands are offer rock-bottom prices to get ready for their 2022 lines. And it's great timing, because some of our gear is looking tired after a season of use.
Summer solstice (June 20, 2021)
Twilight golfers and golf addicts alike savor the summer solstice when the days are the longest. As a kid, I was always certain to book the first twilight tee time on the solstice. It was my way of knowing I was getting the absolute best value on a tee time all year. Some golfers are even more ambitious, planning 100-hole hikes or booking unlimited golf packages that allow them to get in as many holes as humanly possible.