This past Friday was June 30 – exactly halfway through the year and therefore the dead of winter in so-called sunny South Africa.
It was a particularly cold morning at Randpark, 3 deg C, but an icy wind made it feel like well below freezing. “It’s probably the coldest morning we’ve had all year,” Firethorn Course Superintendent Fanie Bester confirmed.
Randpark members Justin Lochmann and Sashin Palliam, though, had booked a tee time on Bushwillow and were first off on the 10th at 6.56 am (to be met at that time by the starter, course marshal and loyal staffer Joseph Dithane who, incidentally and impressively, gets to the club at 5.40 every morning to begin his shift). Note everyone: There’s every reason to love our friendly Randpark staff members!
The golfers were accompanied by teacher Nicole Minnies, out for a chilly walk and describing herself as the “observer” in the dawn patrol threesome.
Was it cold, the two men were asked after completing their rounds just over four hours later? “Cold? It was absolutely freezing even though I had two jerseys on,” said Justin. “When we teed off it was icy and still a little dark as the sun wasn’t fully up yet. Not exactly conducive to hot golf and my swing only started working on the back nine!”
Biokinetist Sashin concurred: “Gosh it was cold. The worst! I only stopped shivering after about five holes! But, you know, we still managed to enjoy it and have fun out there. The sun came out and by the time we finished it was all rather pleasant.”
And so what exactly did Nicole, who had two jackets and a wind-cheater on to keep out the wintry weather, ‘observe’. “This was crazy,” she laughed. “You guys are insane!”
“Maybe we are,” countered a smiling Sashin. “But, you know, golf is an addiction and when you are addicted like Justin and I are, you can’t help hitting that little white ball no matter how cold it is. We needed our fix!”
Such are the joys of golf in the big freeze. Such are the lives of the golf addicts.
Written by Randpark member Grant Winter
Photo: Nicole Minnies, Sashin Palliam & Justin Lochmann