(Since I am preparing for my trip out to Palm Springs, I thought I would spend the entire week writing about golf and FUN in Southern California)
Have you played golf in the Desert? Just saying the word Desert brings up images of those old westerners where the cowboy was trying to make it across the desert to deliver an urgent message or, better yet, to avoid Indians or lawmen. Yaw, the desert westerner’s of years ago generated the same questions that are asked when watching horror films of today. And generally those questions start off with a Why?! Like… Why does the girl who just watched her boy friend get dragged into a house by some monster to be dismembered and make all kinds of horrific screams and blood curtailing sounds would want to naively walk in to see where he went? Does that make any sense? I place that decision pretty high on the Stupid Meter.
Yes, the old Stupid Meter comes into effect when you are talking golf in the desert in the summer time. For those of you who are not familiar with the Stupid Meter, it is a scale of stupidity that ranges from deciding to not go in looking for your boyfriend who was dragged into a horror house by some monster as being someone on the very bottom of the stupid meter to Phil Mickelson deciding to go with a Callaway driver on the last two holes of the US Open only to find himself way out in the rough costing him a major being someone on the very top of the ‘Stupid Meter’
Well, going to play golf in the desert in the middle of August could get ya placed on the stupid meter if you are not prepared for what desert golf will throw at you. But if you know what you are doing you have a better chance of surviving than that macho cowboy taking a short cut across the desert at High Noon.
So, for you cheapo golfers like me who are looking for the best deals in golf in the summer, you can’t find better priced golf than in the desert.
If you have played desert golf then you know what to expect. But, just in case you cannot remember why you have a scar in the palm of your right hand or never played in the desert in the summer (or anytime), let me run down what you are going to be dealing with and what you need to prepare for.
First, since you have now jumped up a few notches on the Stupid Meter, I probably need to remind you it is going to get ….HOT!. OK, I got that out of the way, let me provide you with some other words you need to remember while playing desert golf. I can guarantee that if you remember them they will bring your rating on the stupid meter down a few notches.
Water, if you don’t like drinking it you better start learning to like it before you play desert golf. No, water does not translate into something liquid. So don’t substitute Beer for water. NO, drinking Beer in ice (like we do here in the Texas summers) still does not cut it. Not only will drinking beer in the desert take you right up there with Phil and the US Open on the stupid meter, but it will now get you very close to the Moronic Level, if not placed in the newspaper’s obituary. Water…it is very important to remember this word. It is the most important word in Desert golf, next to ‘Rattlesnake’. There will be plenty of time to drink beer after the golf. If you can’t play golf with out a beer…step aside Phil you have a contender… I suggest you not go to the desert if No Beer is not an option.
Go without water, or drinking beer, in the desert and it really will not matter what you like because you will be dead. So, there, I got the first warning out of the way. So when you get back into town and complain that desert golf gives you a headache…don’t say I did not warn ya.
But, if you want to play some of the best golf courses in the world for cheap, then continue on reading how to prepare for the desert.
The first thing you need to do when you get to your desert golf destination is to hit the Wal-Mart or the first place where they sell water by the case. Depending on how many golfers are in your posse will determine how much water to stock up on. I go for the 32 oz bottles and I drink at least three of those each day. (And I still come home dehydrated) You do the math.
Sunscreen, don’t go out to the desert without it. Next to water, Sunscreen is usually the last thing the macho type of golfers thinks about needing. ‘Ya didn’t see those cowboys who were walking across the desert using any sunscreen did ya?’ or ’The oil gets all over my grips and makes me grip the club to firm.’
Come on guys & gals, we are talking desert golf in the summer. The temperature is going to get to over 100; the sun is going to be beating you down. There is no time to argue the fact that playing golf in the desert that the sun will do to you like what happens to the thanksgiving turkey that is in the oven for five to six hours. In case you can’t relate to what you are going to look like without sunscreen after a round of desert golf, just think about what that thanksgiving turkey looked like and that will be what you will look like after your first round of desert golf without any sunscreen.
Even if you are ranked high on the stupid meter and you are one of those guys or gals who are also listed on the paralleling Geek Meter by wearing long-sleeved shirts and a sombrero, you will still need sunscreen to cover whatever skin that is exposed due to the glare. Yes, you will get sunburned in places you have never gotten sunburned before because of the glare. Like under the chin, or behind the ears or the soft part underneath the forearms. Lather up guys & Gals…the heat and glare is serious stuff when you are in the desert.
This brings me to the next word that describes a piece of equipment you better not leave home without. Sunglasses. I am talking real dark sunglasses. If possible, bring two tints or densities of color. One pair with a shade as dark as you can find and another that is a shade just a tad lighter than a welding helmet. You wear the lighter shades in the morning when the sun angle is not too bright. Then slap on the welding helmet lens when it gets close to High Noon or worst afternoon.
If you don’t like to wear sunglasses I suggest you take a bottle of water and a pair of sunglasses and sit in your bathroom looking up at the heat lamp for a hour or so. You will learn to like the sunglasses and the water after that.
If you wear contacts there are a couple of options. I don’t wear contacts, but my better half does and she tried those New Nike Darkened contacts. She really likes them. Outside of when you are under a tree in the shade where the depth perception is a little difficult and trying to find a golf ball in deep rough, she likes not having to fittle with taking the glasses off and on for the different lighting and the blind spots sunglasses can provide. You might try those or just get a pair of sunglasses that cups around your eyes so the dust from the wind doesn’t get into them or dry your eyes out.
Wind: Yes, there is wind in the desert. Sometime during your round of golf there is going to be a gust or two of wind. But, don’t thinking that will be the time you get to cool off. NOOOOOO! Be prepared for the wind. And when it blows I can best describe it as like playing golf in a hair dryer. Hot, dry and blistering.
There is usually no humidity in the desert so when you sweat it evaporates. Since you don’t have any sweat when the wind hits there is nothing to cool you down, another reason for the sunscreen.
I suggest that to prepare for the wind you look into getting a sunscreen with an Aloe or Vitamin E location included. Preparing for the wind is just part of preparing for desert golf. And once you are prepared, you can get back to what you went out to the desert to do and that is play golf.
Hat: I strongly suggest a hat situation. Not a visor, but a hat that covers your entire head… I highly suggest a broad brim hat that shades your entire face and neck.
It really upsets me when I get a remark from one of my many nappy headed overly follicle endowed friends tell me; ’It makes my head hot when I wear a hat that covers the top of my head.’ Come on people…this is desert golf and the sun is going to be pounding everything it touches and that includes the top of Everyone’s head. Get a hat on people..
Now you are nearly ready for golf in the desert. In Part Two; I will tell you how I prepare for the desert golf.
Scot Duke, President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions, provides over 31 years of corporate management experience to helping small businesses improve their marketing strategies. As author of: How To Play Business Golf, Mr. Duke outlines the steps to sucessfully using golf as a business tool. To learn more about Mr. Duke, IBGS or to purchase How To Play Business Golf visit http://www.innovativebusinessgolf.com