Eye On The Birdie – Post #9 Heat

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I can’t believe another week has passed already! It has been very full, so I have not gotten out to golf. I was going to write about The Importance of Practice, but it seems hypocritical to do so when I haven’t practiced. Instead, I’ll save that for another week. Today, I’m going to write about the heat and how to deal with it.

For a girl that almost lives at a golf course all summer, I have a very low heat tolerance. I would rather hike up a mountain in knee-deep snow while wearing sneakers (I have actually done this) than have to sit in a car with little air conditioning for an hour. I will never understand how I became so enamored with golf as to melt myself playing all summer. However, since I am enamored with golf, I have learned some ways to stay alive (if not exactly cool) in summer weather.

First of all (and most important of all), bring water. Bring water even if where you’re playing has water stations. You never know when you will be wandering through the bushes looking for your ball and become desperately thirsty. It can be a lifesaver—possibly literally. Staying hydrated prevents headaches, nosebleeds (in my case at least), and more serious problems. Sorry, that was kind of preachy and boring. My mom and our First Tee coaches give me speeches just like this all early summer.

Some more unique ways to stay cool include wearing a wide brimmed hat and a “coolie.” A hat with a wide brim means that you don’t have to wear sunscreen (this is important to me, as my mom buys all-natural stuff that is hit or very, very miss in being comfortable to use) and it provides a portable bit of shade. It’s not a conventional golf style, but it works for me. I’m not completely sure how to explain what a coolie is. My grandmother made some for my family, and they’re essentially a tube of fabric filler with water absorbent “beads.” They might be polymer? Anyway, they hold water and you can knot them around your neck. After soaking them in ice water, they keep you really comfortable. There is a downside, however. People will ask you why you wear a scarf in the summer.

My family also has a particularly beloved tactic that is incredibly simple: we get wet. We live near a river, so on days that we can manage it, we go wading. We bring some watermelon, shoes that won’t fall off or get stuck in the mud (that was a sticky lesson to learn), and clothes we don’t mind soaking. However, now that Farmington Lake has a section to swim in, we mostly just go there every afternoon. A summer chore is watering the garden. We have to do this every day, and it gets really hot and unpleasant. My siblings and I hose each other off after we finish and that makes it a lot more bearable. This works especially well if your hose has a mist setting.

A proactive way to deal with summer heat is to get used to it. My mother makes sure that we are ready for the heat by waiting as long as possible to unpack the summer clothes. She actually looked up acclimating to heat. It takes ten to fourteen days, and you do it by spending a little while longer outside each day (and drinking lots of water). My family does do pretty well all summer, and we’re always grateful for our summer clothes!

-Birdie

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