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    (PHOTO | GEORGE BRYAN) Jay Gus, Jed, Eloise, Ema-Dell Michelle Kelley Casey and Birkes Bryan.
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    (PHOTO | GEORGE BRYAN) Gracie Johnson with mom Katie Johnson at Linrick on the Winter Tour
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    (PHOTO | GEORGE BRYAN)

GEORGE BRYAN COLUMN - Golf during the holidays

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Holidays, families and golf seem to be a better fit than ever given the state of current affairs. Outdoor activities have been suggested by the safety experts and social distancing standards and protocols are easy to follow on the golf course. Here is what I am observing around golf facilities I visit. People are enjoying the social interaction community lends itself too more than ever before. So why not plan at least a portion of this years holiday gathering at the course? As I write this weeks article, it’s pretty unique to have this season’s final major championship playing live. The Women’s US Open will likely conclude after deadline but there are 2 points and a mention to bring up.
Let me mention Lauren Stephenson, a graduate of Lexington High School, who iworked her way the leaderboard and finished tied for 30th. More in the next     column, so stay tuned. 
The 1st point that needs to be made is the weather in Houston is unseasonably cool, wet and windy. This could qualify for some to be miserable. However, what I’m witnessing while watching is plenty of fun with enthusiasm in challenging circumstances.
Wind and a light rain with temperatures in the high 30s is tough enough. What is disguised, almost invisible, is the USGA set up which is always brutal. 
When rough is thick, fairways are muddy mush, and greens are firm, golf skill competence is completely measured. Add weather with nerves to this combination and it’s the ultimate test. 
As I watch through mid-round, I am completely impressed with the attitudes of the greatest women golfers on earth. In fact, it’s uplifting and make me want to get out and challenge myself in the elements.
So the 2nd point is a bit of a suggestion. Go see how much fun is possible while play in tough weather conditions. 
Get your mind right, dress for the elements and, as as long as you are safe, with the course is open, try it. 
My hope to expand a bit more on this topic in an upcoming column. 
Time to shift gears and bring up some gift-giving ideas that has become tradition in this column this time of year. 
Equipment and apparel is always popular. With equipment, it’s important when purchasing to be sure exchanges are allowed. In my opinion it’s critical for the equipment to be custom fit and it’s best to ask questions about exchanges prior to purchasing. 
This suggestion is a segway into apparel ideas. Equipment now can now be “tailored” to the player, just as shoe sizes. When it comes to apparel, hats, shirts, sweaters, jackets and shoes in that order are popular.  Almost all can be found on line now but be sure to check department stores live.
Gift cards are beautiful  at courses and golf shops. If there is guessing, here is the best I have. 
All golfers love to get golf balls and it’s easy to figure out their preferences. You cannot go wrong with Calloway, Titleist or Bridgestone.
Here is a final gift idea. Surprise your golfer with a golf trip. 
Here is two surprise gifts I experienced this year. My children gave me a 4-day trip this past spring to Old Waverly and Mossy Oak in West Point, Miss. 
Then, my wife gave me a weekend this past July to Highlands, NC, Old Edwards and Glen Cove. 
They were both well-timed, 2 completely different golf experiences and I had amazing fun.

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