Departments — 11 July 2014
The pleasures of golf…in summer? Yes


South Florida’s year-round residents know how hot and muggy — if not rain-soaked —the summer is. Except for sunbathers and water-sports enthusiasts, we try to stay air conditioned inside, leaving fall, winter and spring as our seasons for outdoor pursuits.

Golf included.

But there are benefits to hitting the links during the summer.

“Prime tee times are way more accessible in the off-season. You don’t have to schedule weeks in advance and can even just walk in sometimes,” says Yoni Martin, owner of Grind Coffee Project in Fort Lauderdale.

His favorite tee time in the summer is the late afternoon. “The humidity is higher but rains have just cooled everything down a bit.”

Another benefit, he says, is that because there are fewer golfers on the courses, there are fewer traffic jams.

“It’s always frustrating when you’re behind slower golfers,” says Martin, 28. “So you can avoid conflicts by not trying to play through them.”

Helen Karpel, general manager at The Club at Boca Pointe in Boca Raton, agrees that more golfers take time off during the summer.

“There’s much more availability of tee times, not just because of the weather but also because the seasonal people — the snowbirds — aren’t here in the summer,” she says.

For golfers who want to stay in the swing of things but don’t want to venture onto fairways and greens, summertime is ideal for taking lessons. For beginners and champions.

“We have golf pros on staff and even one on call for when the demand gets high,” Karpel says.

Golfers can practice their swings on putting greens and at driving ranges with an instructor at their side. And a car not far away, for when the heat wears them down or the rain comes on fast.

Because of the reduced demand, prices for nine or 18 holes go down at many clubs. Another benefit.

At Deer Creek Golf Course, a renowned public course in Deerfield Beach, rates from April to October are roughly half of what they are from December to March. And at Doral’s world-famous Blue Monster Golf Course, there’s approximately a 15 percent reduction.

Even though you don’t have to reserve tee times at all courses in the summer, be sure to call ahead to confirm a course’s availability. Summer is also when maintenance is typically performed.

—David Raterman


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