Golfwise, it's been a miserable two months. After unseasonably warm weather in December and the first couple of days in January the links have been a cold and foreboding place.
When temperatures rose slightly, a chilling wind blew in from the North and made the thought of venturing out onto the golf course mind-numbing.
As much as I play, time away from the game is a good thing. By the end of the golf season, I've developed so many bad habits that I'm not sure which end of the club to grab.
I, for one, used the conditions to lay low for a few weeks, recharging my golf batteries and waiting for any break in the weather. The only drawback to my winter golf hibernation is not getting any exercise.
The walking on the course at least allows me to stay one calorie ahead of the layers of fat I put on while sitting at home watching flatbellies play golf on TV. I've grown so accustomed to walking while I play that if I don't have those clubs strapped to my back a walk around the block just isn't the same.
Going stir crazy, the weather channel becomes my constant companion. Daily I check the 10-day forecast, looking for any possible break in Mother Nature's frigid stranglehold on Northeast Tennessee.
Then it happened. After weeks of unbearable conditions, the old gal strung together four days that were like pearls. Although the first three days were cool and breezy, yesterday was a day that felt like we were stealing.
The amazing thing, aside from a creaky swing that could have used a little WD-40, my game wasn't that bad. I did suffer the consequences of a July mentality, basically too much aggression for the game I brought with me.
And my score was in direct proportion to my time languishing on the couch. But it was good to be back on the course.
Much like running into an old friend, being back was comforting.
Also, a little warm weather brings out all the regulars, folks looking around to see who has made it through the winter. It was like old home week. That may also explain my poor play. We spent so much time reminiscing, that very little attention was spent to the shots at hand.
I think that's what I love about golf. While it is a highly competitive game at times, it can also be such a social gathering. There are so many fascinating characters around, swapping lies and tall tales you're just glad to be back.
No matter what your walk of life, golf becomes the common denominator. We're all in the same dilemma, beating and chasing that little white ball, trying desperately to get it in the hole.
We may not like the final outcome, but the trip is always worth the effort.
A day like Wednesday alerts all golfers that better days are ahead.
I may even break out a new ball next time out. Surely that will help my score.
Pat Kenney is executive sports editor of the Times-News. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.