Drive, He Said

Golf in the kingdom of Marin is a year-round pastime with as many seasons as there are breeds of golfers.

For the diehards, those willing to slog through flooded fairways and seek par with rooster tail putts on puddled greens, winter promises uncrowded courses in return for braving chilly weather.

For the rest of us, though, we who wait groundhog-like for the first days of spring, golf begins when the rain stops. The lengthening days make it possible to tend to familial duties on the weekend and still get in 18, or squeeze in nine on one side of work during the week.

The early risers tee off before dawn, driving into the darkness with the belief (and the hope) that the ball lands somewhere where it can be found. The afternoon players, having boldly ditched the job (“I’m making sales calls all afternoon, boss”), face the deadline of fading daylight.

If they time it just right, the spotlight of the setting sun will shine on their final drive—just as it did for this fellow on the 18th hole at StoneTree in Novato—and provide a Shivas Irons experience that eclipses all other memories of a triple-digit round with the magic of this one moment.

“You’ve just one problem. You stand too close to the ball after you’ve hit it.”
— Sam Snead