Is there anything better than a spot of twilight golf when the sun is gradually dropping and the shadows ever lengthening? We think not...
Okay, the mission here is to avoid using the phrase ‘crepuscular twilight’, partly because the adjective’s definition remains a bewildering mystery for many, and partly because it tends to crop up every time someone waxes on about the sheer joy of playing golf at the dusk end of the day in the lengthening, then fading shadows.
But there’ll be no promises…
Who among us can honestly say they haven’t enjoyed beyond all measure stepping onto the 1st tee at 4.30pm as the sun loses its fire on its merry way down to meet the horizon?
What breeze there has been, however fiercely it’s been blowing, dies away like a whistling kettle finally removed from the hob and there’s a wonderful sense of becalmed stillness all around, so you won’t have to dredge the memory bank to work out how to play with a howling wind off your back.
This sensation is all the more marked if you’ve just rushed straight from work or finished a long journey to get there.
It’s the first time you’ve stopped all day and there’s an almost tangible feeling of readiness and oneness with nature for the four-mile trek ahead.
You look down the fairway where the contrast between light and shade ’twixt hump and hollow is more pronounced that at any other time of day, and see the course in all its rumpled three-dimensional splendour – especially so on one of our coastline’s gloriously rugged links.
The sea beyond will be calm, perhaps even millpond-like, and the whole ambience is one of peace, tranquillity and overwhelming wellness with the world.
This is even more overpoweringly therapeutic if you’ve endured a particularly stressful or hectic day – golf’s perfect antidote to life’s tribulations.
You sweep your opening drive away, then watch it land and hug every contour of the ground before rolling out to its conclusion.
Time seems to almost stand still. There’s no sense of urgency even though you may be battling the daylight to make it all the way round.
This is because you’re likely to have the course largely to yourself, so you can relax, savour every moment, have another go at shots that don’t quite pan out, and maybe even skip a few holes if need be, rather than suffering the plight of the frustrated single golfer that still exists at some courses.
And you’ll be amazed at what levels of darkness you’re prepared to play on into when the golf itself is all that matters rather than the scorecard.
Often you’ll retire to the clubhouse, look back out over the 18th and marvel that just moments earlier you were playing golf in that seemingly impenetrable darkness.
And it is the clubhouse where the final act of twilight golf is played out to a fitting conclusion.
The dying embers of sunlight finally disappear as you take the first sip of a refreshing post-round pint and reflect on a perfect end to whatever sort of day you’d had prior to your evening outing.
No, there really is nothing quite like a game of golf in the crepuscular twilight… damn, fallen at the final hurdle!