Giving thanks

As the golfing year draws to a close, it is appropriate to give thanks to those people and things that continue to make this game such a joy for me.


I am thankful for all my golfing friends who make the year such fun. To all those who allowed me their company on those warm summer days and cool autumn afternoons in pursuit of our favorite recreation, I give sincere thanks for a wonderful time.


I am thankful for senior shafts, larger clubfaces, hybrid irons, golf balls that won’t stop rolling, laser rangefinders, face balanced putters, higher CORs, lower COGs, springier MOIs and for all the other technological advances that I don’t understand either, but have allowed me to continue to play competitive golf.


I am thankful I can still putt with my trusty old Scotty Cameron with my conventional grip and have not succumbed to the lure of the long putter, belly putter, or any other contraptions that make a golfer look like he’s about to fall over if he lets go. 


I am thankful for all the many buddies who have made golfing excursions with me over the years.  Planning, anticipating, enjoying and remembering are all part of the buddy trip experience and I have been fortunate over the years to get hooked up with some of the best guys I know. As Wayne and I like to call them, “great trip guys.” So, thanks to Wayne and Jack and Keith and Willow and Jon and Rodney, and Jimmy and Billy and Joe and Casey and Hank and all the many others who have made buddy tripping the highlight of my golfing year.


I am thankful to the CSGA for all the work they put in the make golf better for all of us. I have taken them to task on occasion and probably will again from time to time, but make no mistake. I have enormous respect for the work they do, generally without fanfare, and I am fully aware that without their efforts golf in Connecticut would suffer.


I am thankful for speedy greens, manicured fairways, well-groomed bunkers, healthy conditions and all the other things that good course superintendents provide for us. I am even thankful for the fescue that swallows golf balls and strangles golf clubs but I do have advice for those who find it too challenging. DON’T HIT IT THERE. Thanks, Dan Rogers. It doesn’t get much better than what you provided.


I am thankful for the Golf Channel. Else, how would I know who won the Malaysian Open, how to fix my shank, what device can make me keep my head down, and understand what the hell David Feherty is actually saying. How did we ever get along without it?


I am thankful for backside presses, greenies and birdies, Hogans and sandies, and the Morosini Rules, which, while not exactly the Hammurabi’s Code, have allowed those with a gambling jones to play golf while betting on every conceivable outcome on a golf course. I think I lost 12 bucks for the year.


I am thankful for all the hard working club pros who make our experience better every day.  Special thanks to the best of the best, my club professional Kevin Shea, who makes every single member feel special and valued. Especially me.


I am thankful for all the folks who have put in enormous amounts of time and energy in an attempt to ensure that New London CC survives into the future. The task is not finished and the outcome is still unsure but it won’t fail due to a lack of caring and thoughtful preparation by a host of people who shall go unnamed because that’s the way they want it. They know who they are and to them I say most sincerely, Thanks.


Lastly I am thankful for a wife that has had to endure my sometimes foolish obsession for the game, yet still encourage me to pursue my many time consuming golfing exploits. Thanks, Dorian.  Just one of the many reasons I love her.


Jim O’Neill is a member and former club champion at New London CC.

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