ROYAL CITY — Every time I get on the phone with my golfing partner Charlie Norell down in West Richland, I hang up jonesin’ to get out and play.
If you’re not a golfer you probably don’t understand why a guy’s standing there looking out the window at a frozen street, howling winds building snow drifts in the front yard, thinking about sunny days and the season’s first bogey.
But I have fairways and greens on the mind, and I see I’m not the only one. Shawn Vetterick is already putting out the word for the summer golf leagues at the Royal Golf Club.
I can tell he’s a true believer. There’s more cross country ski marks on the course than ball marks on the greens, but the call to action for golfers is going out like the call of the wild.
In case you’re interested, matches will be played on Tuesday nights this year instead of Thursdays. Vetterick’s thinking a 12-to-14-week schedule.
The men’s spring league starts March 14. Ladies, get your sticks out because he’s putting together a women’s league as well as one for seniors. The clubhouse opens March 1, God bless ’em, so give them a call and get your team together.
On that same line, the Royal Golf Association’s annual Crab Feed is March 4 at Keely’s Barn. It’s the big fundraiser for the course and a chance to support your local golf nut and a great golf course.
Auctioneer extraordinaire Chuck Yarbro will be running the auction and, of course, we all know Chuck’s battle cry, “Come on, it’s only money.”
Actually, I’m thinking outside of the box here. I say we get 1A Associated Player of the Year Kaden Jenks out there, set a trash can 50 yards down the fairway and see who can get closer, Kaden throwing footballs or golfers hitting a sand wedge. It’s just a thought, but it’s for a good cause.
Last summer, Charlie and I scouted out courses to the north, places like Bear Mountain Ranch in Chelan and Gamble Sands over in Brewster, then down south to Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla and Wildhorse Golf Club in Pendleton, Ore.
But we talked about staying a little closer to home this year, since there’s great golf to be played here in the Columbia Basin. There’s The Legacy of Frenchman Hills at Potholes and Desert Aire near Mattawa.
As I made my way down Highway 17 to the Othello wrestling community bash last week, I couldn’t help but smile at the flags on Sage Hills Golf Club frozen in the ground, blowing to beat the band in a winter blast. Might have to get out and try that little track.
There’s the Royal Golf Course, Crescent Bar Golf Course and Colockum Ridge out in Quincy, the Lake View Golf Course in Soap Lake and the Oasis RV Park and Golf course in Ephrata.
Golfin’ weather is within sight, or if you’re really brave, a ski parka, mittens and a golf bag do go hand in hand.
Rodney Harwood is a sports writer for the Sun Tribune and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.