Fog is a Cool Golf Thing

The air of mysticism adds to a round.
The 2021 U.S. Open got off to a foggy start, delaying play temporarily on Thursday morning.

Fog is one of golf's great metaphors. As it delayed yesterday's first round of the 2021 U.S. Open for 90 minutes, it was easy to see in it the same silent-haunched uncertainty that presides over every major championship. After all the Monday-through-Wednesday buildup and prognostication, Thursday morning comes and grants no immediate resolution. If we're lucky, the narrative begins to take shape by Friday afternoon.

For a player, a fog is probably the best way to start off an imperious mountain-climb of a tournament like the U.S. Open. Better to limit your visibility to the range of your next shot than to be trying to ignore vistas of several hundred yards, at least until you get your bearings. Your own headspace, "The Zone" - whatever you call it, a little fog may be helpful when trying to win a major championship.

I'll never play for such high stakes, but I like a bit of fog as well on the golf course for similar reasons. If you have to work a little harder to make out the fairway or green, you are instinctively having to focus a bit more. That usually has positive implications for the shot you're about to hit. Growing up in New England, fog is a fairly reliable morning companion in the spring and fall. Again, a metaphor: the fading-in of the season and its gradual recession into winter.

Plus, foggy golf courses just look cool, don't they?

March 22, 2019
Browse our not-too-long essays about cool things in golf.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
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Fog is a Cool Golf Thing