I have a guilty pleasure that I rarely admit to doing.
It involves a four letter word.
G O L F.
In the winter from January to March I love to watch golf on television. I know, I know, you would rather watch paint dry, but to me seeing those green fairways and ocean vistas give me a much needed mid-winter lift. After March I will watch golf in tiny snippets just long enough to see who is winning a tournament, except for the Majors (The Masters, US Open, British Open, PGA Championship) and Ryder Cup where I may watch the entire final round.
I didn't start playing golf until I was 29, but once I started, like most things I like, I became addicted. My USGA handicap index is 8.8, which means if the normal par round of golf is 72 then I average 81. Since my oldest son was born in 2003 I have not played consistently. My actual handicap is higher than 8.8 since it takes a certain amount of rounds played to make a significant change in handicap; I've only posted a few round per year since 2003. That said I can still make my way around a course. The first winter following my first year playing I could not get enough golf so I watched anything on TV concerning golf. Thus the genesis of my winter golf TV obsession.
In January the PGA Tour starts with two tournaments in Hawaii. The TV coverage for these events doesn't start until 7:00 PM East coast time, so I usually fall asleep to the sound of wooshing drivers and tepid applause. The tour then moves to California and Arizona for the next seven weeks where golf is played on quite a few desert courses and the famed Pebble Beach. By the time the tour heads to Florida in March I have had my fill of TV golf and am ready to play here in New England, even if it means driving two hours to Cape Cod to play 36 holes in windy, 40 degree weather.
The Bob Hope Chrysler Classic Pro-AM is on at 3 PM Eastern Time with a full field of pros and celebrities such as Carson Daly, Sterling Sharpe, Alice Cooper and hosted by comedian George Lopez. Pro-Am tournaments are fun because you get to see the pro game juxtaposed with the amateur game. On one hand its makes you feel good that you are better at something than Jerry Rice, but you also see the glaring difference between the celebrities and the pros and it reminds you that as good as you think your golf game is, you suck compared to a tour pro.
Spring Training is a month away. My first round of golf for the year is two months away. Opening Day at Fenway is three months away. Beer at the Beachcomber is five months away, but warm breezes, palm trees swaying and drives splitting fairways are hours away with the click of my remote.
65 days 'till Spring!