Spending tax day the right way

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What better way to spend tax deadline day than to spend the refund I am getting before it arrives in my mailbox?

And, of course, spending on something that involves the outdoors, exercise and overall NOT being in the office was kind of nice, too.

I finally did it, though. My self-imposed golf exile is over, as of April 15, 2010. It had been nearly 11 full months since I last played a round of gold in Maine, and since December since I’d played at all.

But I rummaged through my newly-cleaned garage (did that when it was 75 degrees back in March), dug out the ol’ sticks and threw them and my shoes in the trunk and puttered off to the course.

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As the summer goes along, I will be playing rounds at various courses around our region, and I will try to update people the best I can of anything new and/or exciting at each venue.

This year, given its familiarity to me and the fact that I can now play it without being a member, the first round of the year came at Martindale in Auburn, where there have been a number of changes since the club changed hands last fall.

New hardwood graces the downstairs lobby, a new menu and a new design make the restaurant much more appealing, and they’ve opened that up to the public, as well.

But the more important changes have come on the course itself. In thumbing through some old maps of the course, the folks there realized that, over the years, the greens had been mowed inconsistently, and many of them had, as a result, been shrinking. They’ve started to cut back into the fringe on many of the holes, and the greens are marked to where they will eventually be. On a few holes, it is a HUGE difference.

The folks at Martindale have removed several older, dying trees that were a nuisance, and they’ve opened up a few holes by pruning back or eliminating trees that had overgrown their intended size.

Not that any of this actually helped my feeble efforts to get around my first nine holes of the season, mind you. After a straight and true drive on the first hole, I ended up long and left and made a six. I made one par, three bogeys and a double-bogey while missing every green and fairway until the seventh hole, and then made a gorgeous snowman on the par-5 eighth before finishing well on nine.

That said, let’s take stock of what just happened. I played a round of golf, in dry conditions, in Auburn, Maine, on tax day. I could have done that two weeks ago, too. Forty-six notwithstanding, that’s a pretty good way to spend the early part of one of the more souring days on the calendar.

Hopefully, at some point, I’ll see you all out there, too. Hopefully, I won’t feel the need to go into a golf coma again this season. And, God willing, I won’t shoot another 46 on the front nine at Martindale.

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