The approach of cooler weather no longer is a signal fo Carroll County golfers to put away their clubs.
Golfers throughout Maryland used to consider the golf season to start on Memorial Day and close on Labor Day. Now the season extends through Halloween and often through Christmas.
With few exceptions, county courses remain open on a year-around basis.
Improvements in lightweight clothing that supply both warmth and freedom to swing are important factors in keeping players on the course in colder months.
Contours of fairways also play a major role in how much winter golf is available.
Courses with good drainage can remain playable long into the winter. Another plus for golf beyond September is the success superintendents have dealing with fallen leaves. Modern blowers have done wonders in eliminating long ball searches in the leaves.
For those less interested in braving the elements to keep their swings grooved, there are indoor driving facilities. In Carroll County, there is the Liberty Park golf range of Eldersburg, which has extensive indoor facilities.
The latest move to keep golfers golf-minded in the winter is an array of gadgets designed for indoor training sessions. There is a golf pro on television who offers at least 10 different gadgets designed to improve your golf scores while swinging in the confines of your living room. Most of them offer, if not instant success, sound advice on improving your game.
With the gadgets come recorded tapes covering all phases of golf instruction. Of course, there is a price to pay, something like $149 per package.
Even if the information does not pay off with shaved strokes, it keeps your mind on golf until next spring.
An example of how tournament play continues to expand longer into the fall is reflected at Bear Creek, where still another "night time tourney," is scheduled later this month. For this one, golfers play nine holes after dark, aided only by the light of the moon.
L Then consider the active fall schedule at Wakefield Valley.
The October schedule includes an Am-Ham scramble, a mixed two-ball competition , the second annual Carroll County Chamber of Commerce team championship, the first and second rounds of the Taylor-Made Two Man team event, a Middle Atlantic PGA pro-pro tourney (spectators welcome), and the annual turkey shoot, a late blast scramble and the 1992 awards )) golf-dinner celebration.