It’s time for some golfing spring cleaning

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think we’re actually having spring this year. You remember spring. It’s the season after winter when the days become longer and warmer; crocuses start popping out of the ground; and the boys of summer are getting geared up.

Yeah, that spring.

After taking a sabbatical for a few years, spring has re-emerged on the East End, making a timely arrival and bringing with it some nice days and comfortable temperatures.

For the past few years springtime seemed to have bypassed us and we went straight from winter to summer; albeit recent winters have not been too bad. This year, however, we had a wake-up call from Old Man Winter, who let us know he’s alive and well. But we really shouldn’t complain. Did you happen to speak with anyone who was in Florida over the winter? Icy reviews from the Sunshine State. You know what? Give me a few weeks of winter in exchange for a good old-fashioned spring. I’ll take it every time.

According to an old saying, spring is a season when one’s thoughts turn to love.

How beautiful and touching. Yet, for many of us, our thoughts in spring turn to getting back out onto the golf course. This year, I’m going to hold your hand and get you prepped for your return to the links.

The first thing we’re going to do is to take everything out of your golf bag. I mean everything.

Quick question. Why do golf bags have so many zippers and pockets? I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember where I put a darn thing. It drives me nuts. OK, let’s start unpacking.

My oh my, this is interesting. I see you’ve removed a few odoriferous treasures from your bag. How long have the tuna sandwich and hard-boiled egg been in there? What else has my little pack rat got stashed away? Oh no! It can’t be. A pair of golf boxers? Don’t even tell me; I’d rather not know.

After your bag is completely empty, turn it upside down and give it a good shake. I’ll bet you a nickel that at least three tees and a few other interesting treasures fall out. Now, put your gear back in — and lots of luck trying to remember where you put all your goodies. Don’t forget the sunscreen and a water bottle. Great. Now your golf bag is set to go.

Next on the list, give your clubs a good scrubbing and polishing. Wipe down your golf shoes, check the spikes and replace the old-timers. Examine the grips on your clubs. It’s important to replace your grips every year or two and much less expensive than purchasing a new set of clubs. If you use a pull cart, clean it up and lubricate any moving parts. That little puppy will be accompanying you for many miles during the year and deserves a little TLC.

The next area we need to think about is the six inches between your ears. Set reasonable and realistic goals for yourself. If you’re a 24 handicapper, you’re probably not going to get down to single digits.

This year, be sure to allow yourself enough time to warm up before hitting the first tee. Stretch, go to the range, find your tempo. Do whatever works for you, but make certain you arrive at the first tee box calm, relaxed and loose. If you find yourself in a funk during the season, take a lesson. And, very important, purchase your golf items from your local golf professional. They need and appreciate your support and business.

Finally, go out there and enjoy yourself. Golf is a great game. Don’t take it too seriously and make sure you have fun.

TIGER IS GOOD FOR GOLF As I’m sure you know, Tiger Woods will be making his return to the PGA Tour when he tees it up at the Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. ESPN and CBS will be covering the event. Do you think the networks are a little excited about Woods’ return? The television audience is going to be huge. Whether you’re a fan of Tiger — whether you can get past his personal issues — Woods brings an incredible amount of energy, interest and excitement to golf. Like it or not, the game today is better with Tiger Woods in the lineup.