Friday, April 8, 2011

Golf in April is the cruelest sport

I’m not a golfer, and in fact I have a certain prejudice against the sport.  But even here in Finland I can’t help being keenly aware when the Masters Tournament in my home state of Georgia rolls around every April.  It’s not that I care who wins, because I don’t, not even slightly – though I used to think Tiger Woods was cool. 

Grounds of the Augusta National Golf Club.
Photo by pocketwiley
I wouldn’t even remember that the Masters takes place this time of the year if not for the fact that I sometimes happen to see brief reports about it on CNN.  Despite myself, I can’t ignore those TV reports from Augusta, with their footage of the world’s top golfers in shirtsleeves – shirtsleeves for Christ’s sake – strolling over perfectly manicured green grass, often with flowering dogwoods or azaleas in the background.  And all that sunshine.  It just doesn’t seem fair. 

Springtime in the South is amazing, an unfolding display of flowers and scrubs blossoming everywhere you look, woods turning green almost before your eyes, and nights filled with the pulsating sound of invisible tree frogs.  At least that’s how I remember it.  Spring is what I miss the most about Georgia and is something best not brought to mind when in Finland we still have thick snow on the ground in April and where any semblance of spring – or what passes for spring here – is still a good month away. 

That’s why those springtime images from the Masters being broadcast into my living room every April always remind me of how nice this season really can be when it’s done right.  When I look out the window on a typically gray April day here in Helsinki, such reminders just seem a bit cruel.  

April in Helsinki.

1 comment:

  1. Cruelty, yes. I can see it. One thing about the South that I do love is the amazing display of life that thrives on the land here. I hear that there are richer ecosystems than that of the Piedmont and Southern Appalachians, but not many. You were lucky to have grown up in this part of the planet, and I can understand the odd pang of homesickness for it. Every time I wander into a cove hardwood forest on an Appalachian mountain I just end up sitting there and gawking at it, trying to soak it all in. I doubt there's a more beautiful setting on Earth. Maybe there is, but I haven't witnessed it yet.

    Did you never hike the Sosebee Cove Scenic Area near Blood Mountain? If not, you should go hike the trail through that patch of north facing cove hardwoods the next time you visit the old stomping grounds.