We could call this one, “Confessions of a reformed golfer,” but I don’t know that “reformed is the right word.

Reverted, maybe?

Whatever you want to call it, it feels good to be back out non the links again this spring. I’ve made reference in this space before to taking a self-imposed hiatus from the game. It’s safe to say, officially, that I am back in the game.

I just wish that my game was back. Note to self (and to anyone else who wants to listen): Time away from the game will NOT make you better. Especially not around the greens.

I’m not going to sit here and schill for any particular company, because, well, that wouldn’t be ethically right. But I will say, I got a new driver this year. It was long overdue. I was still hitting a club that was made when the years had a ’19’ in front of them. I still will not give up on my 3-wood from that same era, though. That, I still hit well.

And I was very skeptical about getting a new longstick, because it seems like you can;t get one with a surface area any smaller than the state of Rhode Island anymore.

But I got one.

Love it.

I am not one with the long ball. I can hit the ball well enough to be in good position on most holes, but I am not hitting the ball 300 yards (or even 275 on flat ground). But in Maine, on most courses, that’s OK.

I’ve taken it out to test at several area courses. The opinion hasn’t changed much, either.

Speaking of traveling to area courses, I’ve found my way to a handful of them already. I’ve spent time strolling the fairways (and rough, and woods) at Apple Valley, Fox Ridge, Maple Lane, Martindale, Point Sebago, Prospect Hill and Spring Meadows, alphabetically. By the end of the week, the hope is to knock off two more. By the end of the summer, I want the resume to be up around 30. It makes for a much better comparison, and it makes for a much better base of knowledge.

I don’t know that I’ve played one single course that I haven’t marveled at the current conditions. The milder-than-normal winter, the early sun and spotty but necessary rain have combined to make conditions at most places better than they are normally under summer conditions.

Point Sebago was dazzling, Spring Meadows was about as green as I ever remember it being and even Apple Valley, which had just recently aerated and top-dressed its greens, was about as pristine as I can recall.

The renovations at Maple Lane have helped that course along, and more changes are in the works. Fox Ridge is as challenging as ever, and Martindale’s on-course improvements, combined with greater accessibility, has made the “Mother of Champions” a must-play on the circuit this spring.

The best thing I’ve found to work, as far as paying for all of this, is to search area publications, including the Sun Journal, of course, and look for deals. Also, poke around on the courses’ Web sites. Many times, they’ll offer deals to those who do venture onto their small corner of the Internet.

So good luck, happy golfing. Hit ’em straight.

And I’ll let you know when i decide to finally upgrade those irons. Those hearken back to the days of Green Day’s ‘Dookie,’ and Bush’s ‘Sixteen Stone.’ Yikes!

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