There are certain smells that remind you of golf. Fresh cut grass is an obvious and pleasant one, but there’s another that’s not so pleasant that still takes you back to rounds of golf played. That smell is wet waterproofs. We all know that damp smell from your rain gear that you didn’t dry properly.
This is the smell of clubhouse changing rooms and drying rooms. It is a musty and earthy smell, there is nothing else like it in the world and it evokes strong memories of traipsing into the refuge of the clubhouse dripping.
That smell is a badge of honour. It tells the world that you battled the elements and had no interest in giving in to comfort when the heavens opened. Rain on a links course can be a completely different beast all together, only the most devout golfer takes it on.
On the coast the rain can come and go as fast as you can get your rain gear on and off. On those days you feel like the golfing gods are looking down on you laughing as they flip the rain on and off to make you get changed in and out of your waterproofs.
On these days you need to be in gear that is breathable as you will get to the point where you don’t want to keep changing. Light and flexible waterproofs are the order of the day as you try to put the intermittent rain out of your head and get on with your game.
The weather toys with you on the golf course. We have also experienced that special horizontal rain that hits you like a hail of wet bullets whilst you try to concentrate on your game. This is a rain that challenges more than any and the kind you’re most likely to face on the links.
In this driving rain you are facing the challenge of wet grips but also having to negotiate the wind. Your patience is tested to its limit as you battle two of the links elements. Worse still, on these days your umbrella is no use, unless you want to become a Mary Poppins tribute act.
The relentless soaking can get to you if you aren’t properly dressed for the occasion. Like a Formula 1 car on a wet track in slicks giving away grip and time, not being dressed appropriately gives your opponents an advantage.
Then there’s the layout of old links courses. On those most precious ancient links “nine-out/nine-back” layouts, when you leave the safe haven of the clubhouse you are gone. The voyage has begun and there’s no turning back. If the rain starts whilst your at the turn then there is no point in walking in.
This is a call to arms for golfers. Let’s face up to that old golfers’ enemy. Rain will not stop us from enjoying out golf. Rain is nothing but a wet distraction. Suit-up and show your playing partners your resolve by not letting the rain bother you. If nothing else, this weather makes the soup and pints in the clubhouse taste better after your round.
Words - Kenny Pallas
Photography - Graeme McCubbin
Elements range from J.Lindeberg