Thanksgiving is at our house this year, so the chance of me sneaking away for an early morning round at the Rancho Bernardo Inn is not in my future.

I guess I really should be grateful. I mean, just look outside. It’s late November and the sun is shining. Anywhere east of the Rockies, golf is not a winter sport. In San Diego, summers never end—and neither do tee times.

My turkey day restriction got me thinking about the good things golf has to offer.

I’ve come to realize that golf is a gift, no matter how many times I duck-hook a drive, find the beach with my 7-iron, or push yet another 6-footer for bogey.

Here are a few things I’ll be giving thanks for this Thanksgiving:

  • Thanks to the ambassadors of the game, teaching pros such as John Mason at Encinitas Ranch, Fred Wood at Oceanside Golf Course, David Emerick at the North County Junior Golf Association, and Lloyd Porter at Oaks North. These guys are the true backbone of golf in San Diego, and not just because they can cure a slice. Golf is not what they do, it’s who they are. They eat, sleep and breathe the game. They respect it. They cherish it. And for that, I can’t thank them enough.
  • Thanks to the many great golf courses of San Diego. With more than 90 tracks in the county, there are so many options for golfers – such as Torrey Pines, Rancho Bernardo Inn, Maderas, Encinitas Ranch or Twin Oaks. The list goes on. It’s not surprising that Golf Digest listed San Diego among the Top 50 golf destinations in the world.
  • Thanks to the JC Golf Players Card, which offers nine rounds of golf for less than $350. That’s less than $40 per round! Go to jcgolf.com to learn more about special holiday pricing.
  • And finally, thanks to all the golfers out there—good, bad, young, old—who pick up a club and regularly chase perfection. This is the greatest game on earth as far as I’m concerned and I’m proud to be a part of this pursuit of happiness that is the sport of golf.

Marc Figueroa is a freelance writer who has been covering golf in San Diego for more than 20 years.