There’s a tradition at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club that every New Year’s Day some golf-crazed souls venture out onto the first tee and smack a ball up the fairway into the snow drifts covering the course.
Actually, some years the snow cover is light or non-existent, so a few hearty folks actually play a few holes.
The greens are not in play, but temporary pins are placed in front of the grens to give the golfers the illusion of a midsummer day’s dream.
This year, early on Jan. 1, five women were the first of a few dozen players to brave the elements. It was cold and breezy, but there was no snow to speak of.
The group, Robin Foster, Lisa Allen, Ginny Green, Pim Earl and Chris Earl, played six holes before retiring for the first sitting of the club’s famous New Year’s Day brunch.
Allen only lasted three holes (“my fingers froze”), but the others soldiered on, noting she was with them in spirit.
“The course was in good condition,” Green reported.
“However, when the golf balls occasionally landed on patches of ice they veered off in weird directions. Nobody kept score, we each carried only a few clubs. It was more important to laugh a lot and stay warm.”
As they ventured out well before any of the gentlemen hit the links, they lured Hugh Hutton outside to take a photo for The Lake Report.
He was sipping coffee with friends in the warm clubhouse, but Green said he happily snapped their picture, doing so “with skill and enthusiasm.”
The NOTL course is closed until spring but if any area players need a golf fix, the St. Davids Golf Club operates year-round and plans to be open all this week, weather permitting.