The Week Grip — On Springtime, New Beginnings, and Playing More Golf

Robbie Vogel
4 min readMar 24, 2019

Right now, Duke and America’s favorite Tigger impersonator Zion Williamson are taking on UCF and the world’s most mobile skyscraper Tacko Fall, with a berth in the Sweet 16 on the line. For my money, and with all due respect to the majors and the Ryder Cup, the NCAA Basketball Tournament is the greatest sporting event of the year. I’m sure I’m in the majority of sports fans when I say that I watch more college basketball during March Madness than I do during the rest of the year combined, so to me, the tournament doesn’t include the bittersweet realization that the season will soon be over. In fact, when I look at it more broadly, the yearly arrival of March Madness feels more like a beginning than an ending.

Seasons in Boston are weird and unpredictable, and the running joke the day after a calm, sunny day in the 60s anytime from March through June goes: “I hope you enjoyed Spring. It was yesterday.” But it always seems that, just when I’m convinced that the mercury will never rise above 45, the Ides of March roll around and things get a bit more bearable. Rather than pining for golf weather, I’m hooked for three straight weekends on whether or not a bunch of teenagers can make foul shots. And once I emerge from this hoops fugue, it’s April, the birds are chirping, and most of the courses around here won’t kidnap your FootJoy if you step in a low area.

It’s hard to properly formulate my thoughts right now because Duke are getting a suspicious amount of calls their way and I’m starting to get aggravated. Here is a bulleted list of reasons for golf-related optimism as we scrap, claw, and inch our way towards the 2019 golf season.

  • Just about once every two years, I viciously sprain my ankle playing soccer. I keep playing because I need competition, I hate jogging as a form of exercise, and I love the game. On cue, about a month ago, I poked my foot in for a tackle and got stepped on. Rolled, swollen, bruised, limp, the whole bit. It’s still swollen and mighty tender right now, but I’m spinning this as a positive — I’ve gotten the injury out of the way before the season started, and didn’t miss any prime golf time.
  • Relatedly, I picked up a weird constant pain in my adductor muscles which has refused to abate for more than three months. Being a stubborn millennial, I only recently went to the doctor and was prescribed physical therapy. This will hopefully clear that issue up and perhaps even give me a leg up in the golfer’s endless search for pliability.
  • As I’m not a complete moron, and I’m putting golf first this year, I’ll be taking a leave of absence from soccer. More time for golf, fewer opportunities for rolled ankles.
  • The PGA is in May this year, meaning we’ll have a big(ish?) event every month from now until August — creating at least one weekend out of every four where you can unashamedly play golf in the morning and watch it all afternoon.
  • Daylight Saving Time happened a few weeks back, and every day from now until June 21st, sunset will be pushed back a few more hours. Meaning, of course, more time for post-work holes.
  • The Masters starts in 17 days.
  • Time for some #personalnews, which I’ll keep short and perhaps elaborate on in the future. First, I’m involved in starting Boston Golf & Social, an open society for Boston’s golf lovers to play fun, competitive events at some of the area’s more architecturally interesting courses. Check it:
  • Labor Day Weekend 2019 will be spent with my dad, my three best friends, and their dads at Cabot. So that’s something to look forward to.
  • Just picked these up:
  • This might be the year I make an ace, break par, or do something else suitably impressive. I’ll have more reason to practice, as it’s not a good look when one of the principals of your golf society carries a double-digit handicap, and one more free evening a night without soccer.

We’ll see how everything pans out. First order of business is returning this ankle to regular service. Which can only be done with more ice, more elevation, and more hours of watching hoops.

Awesome, Zion can shoot threes now apparently.



Robbie Vogel

Bought a hat once. Did not receive a free bowl of soup with it.