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FOG FACTOR

Fog can be hazardous to play in, but course pros say most golfers don't care how thick it is.

Put a sheet over your head, then rear back and swing that expensive, over-sized titanium driver you bought.

Pretty much impossible, right?

Well, that's basically what's happening at some area golf courses, particularly those inland.

Fog - thick, dense fog that restricts visibility to just a few feet - rolls in just when rise-and-shine golfers are ready to tee off.

Bottom line: If you have a tee time before 9 a.m., you might want to reschedule.

"Usually what happens, if (the fog) gets real, real bad, we'll put up a delay," said Vince Buelk, course pro at Brooksville Country Club. "It can push tee times back for up to an hour, but obviously, (in the fog) it's just not fun golf."

Or safe.

"It would be like playing with a blindfold," Buelk said. "Just a blind shot really. I haven't met a golfer who wants to go out in that stuff because it's not enjoyable. They just can't see what they're doing."

Playing through

Fog or no fog, some golfers are determined to get in a round before noon.

Despite fog lasting until 11 a.m. Feb. 3, assistant course pro at Hernando Oaks Golf and Country Club Chrissy Atchison said golfers at her course don't care how thick it gets.

"We normally don't have a delay for the fog," Atchison said. "The public doesn't want a delay. They don't see it as dangerous, so people just go up and tee up and off they go."

Buelk said thick fog calls for more spacing between the groups.

"If you can't see which way to the hole or pin or at least 150 yards in front you, then you won't go out," Buelk said. "Now the fog was pretty bad (Feb. 5), but even if they go out, tee times are about nine minutes apart. At that, they should be fine."

Course employees and pros are saying this is the worst fog they've seen, but that hasn't hindered attendance or dropped the number of scheduled tee times.

"People just aren't willing to wait," said Christi Adams, pro shop attendant at Quarry Golf Course in Brooksville. "Our regulars are still here in the morning, still going out, but it's probably worse this year than before."

Submit story ideas, feedback to communitysports@tampabay.com or call Community Sports Editor Mike Camunas at (352) 544-9480.

FAST FACTS

Fog formation

Fog is a meteorological phenomenon caused by a supersaturation of the air, so that it can no longer hold water vapor. The water vapor turns into small droplets of condensation. The processes that form fog are similar to those that make clouds, although fog forms close to the ground.

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