It’s February and many of us have already had all of the cozying up, cuddling close, and cooking at home we can handle. Some of us may have come down with colds, covid, and the flu this offseason. But there is another illness that ails all of us: cabin fever.
The time of year has come when we start to anticipate the first events of the upcoming season. We dream about the summer days when the sun beats down on our backs, our feet walk on the soft green grass and our bodies scorch from the heat of competition.
Currently, I am sitting on my couch, looking at the dreary downpour of winter rain. I’m swaddled in all the blankets I own, trying to warm up from the freezing-cold practice session I just finished. Coffee and tea are keeping me company as I plan for the events that lie ahead. I’m excited and impatient at the same time.
Just the other day, I was out on the golf course and the Carolina winter was treating us golfing fanatics well. The temperature was hovering around 60 degrees and the sky was the kind of clear Carolina blue that Tar Heels always admire. Players flocked to the golf course hoping to grind away the rust from their clubs and knock the winter fog from their muscles and minds. As the music of pinging drivers and the rhythmic thwack of divots freshly dug filled the air, one man yelled over to his friend, “Thank God my wife let me out of the house. I had cabin fever.”
A light bulb went off in my brain. This fellow golfer had put words to the emotions I’d been feeling. I don’t have quite the same cabin fever as the Sunday hackers hovering around the driving range. I’ve shown up to the course in the rain and cold. I’ve blown snowflakes from the end of my nose as I nestled into my setup for the next practice shot and pulled ski caps over my ears until I could no longer hear the howling wind. Hot, cold, wet, dry: I’ve worked on my game through it all, so my golf desires have been met.
My cabin fever is something different. The restless itch that I and many of my fellow players feel is for competition. I’m eager to break the cycle of preparation and put my game to the test; to play “under the pencil” and post a number onto a scoreboard for all to see.
The LPGA has kicked off its season. The PGA TOUR has been sending glimmers of warm weather to us for weeks. The Korn Ferry Tour has been basking in places like the Bahamas. Now, it’s time for the Epson Tour season to begin.
Soon we’ll head to the Sunshine State to get things rolling at the Florida's Natural Charity Classic. From there will be off to the desert and dry air of Arizona. Before you know it, I’ll feel far from the cozy comfort of my couch. The day will come when I’ll miss the spot I am in right now.
However, for the moment, I’ll soak up the anticipation until I am soaking in the sun.