Let’s face it, it is not for everyone. As Nick Seitz says in this archive article from 1992,
“At it’s best, golf in the winter is sublime…..at it’s worst, it’s vastly preferable to no golf at all”.
George Crump conceived of Pine Valley as a winter respite for his Philly golfing buddies because there was virtually no snow cover at the time in Camden, New Jersey just across the Delaware River. Seitz’s relates of a friend still playing there year round, albeit “the greens were frozen and his approach shots bounded 40 feet high until he adjusted and began to play bump-and-skate shots.”
This is not a brand of golf for the faint of heart, it requires real dedication to go out when it is 40 degrees and a wind chill to boot. There is no dress code, just have enough layers to peel off or add on to deal with the chameleon elements.
Since there are really no rules and a limited audience winter golf lends to real creativity. Whether it is playing “hurricane rules” rather than preferred lies or test driving that redesign of your home course you have worked out so many times in the middle of the night, it is an opportunity to share a good walk with dedicated friends.
You don’t have to deal with tee times or crowds, and “nothing surpasses the supernal quiet and beauty of a blue-skied winter golf day”. Best part is there is some warm soup or a hot toddie waiting for you when your day is done.