We are back.
Yes, there was a December 21st, followed by a 22nd and a 23rd and so on, just as we predicted late last year in this space.
But now, the calendar pages have turned ( if anyone uses calendars any more) and the deep, dark December days are turning into slightly brighter January ones, and -- as most always happens at this time of year -- Canadians are turning their thoughts to those of ... golf.
Yes, golf. Golf is a game that is very popular with vast numbers of Canadians, probably more so that you would first imagine. They watch it, they play it, they check sports pages on Monday mornings for the highlighted names of Canadian players who have done well in just completed weekend professional tournaments, they talk about it and they take golf lessons. ( see video)
In fact, our crack research team just left us a bundle of information about golf. The team has gone to check out a snow shoe sale downtown, but before they deserted us they said, " Here, read this." and handed me the July 2012 edition of the Canadian version of Reader's Digest.
The magazine was open to a golf piece by writer Ryan Stuart, and is filled with facts and figures concerning the grand old game of golf.
According to Stuart's calculations, there are 35,112 golf courses around the world, of which 2300 are in Canada.
And, of those 2300 golf courses, there are apparently 289 of them in Saskatchewan, which is the most, per capita, of any place in the world. ( see map)
Also, according to Stuart's article, the first golf club in North American opened in 1873 when The Royal Montreal Golf Club made its debut.
And, as a Canadian hobby, following the careers of Canadian professional golfers ranks right up there with skeet shooting, coin collecting and rebuilding old cars.
Over the years, some of the careers we have followed include that of the steady Stan Leonard, the dependable George Knutson, the hard-luck Mike Weir ( winner of the 2003 Masters), the eccentric Moe Norman, and now the up and comers such as Graham Delaet and Adam Hadwin.
Heading into this weekend, there's the Sony Open in Hawaii, with a first place prize of just over one million dollars, followed January 17 - 20/13 by the Humana Challenge in partnership with The Clinton Foundation, to be held in La Quinta, California.
Oh, and the average golf ball has 400 dimples. Just thought you would like to know.