Christmas Eve golf in the CSRA

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC -- Every town has some kind of sports identity that most people will be able to relate to. In the CSRA, it's not a debate: this is a golf community. It can be a year-round sport depending on how mild the winter is, and people will take advantage of that.

That was certainly the case today at the River Golf Club. The course was booked full following two days of rain on this warm Christmas Eve. But why would so many people take time away from home to go to the course? Maybe a way to blow off some steam before relaxing for the new year.

"Well I've had to work about 25 days in a row and this is the first nice day I could hit balls outside," said Mike Jackson. Mike added he'll be going to see his grandchildren during the evening.

The course can be a way to reconnect and a holiday tradition in and of itself, especially for family members who are traveling to be with their loved ones.

"We do try to play some golf, so the boys get together for golf and we try to do it as early as possible which for my family is as late as possible. We do not like to wake up over the holidays," added Gary Andrews. Gary travels each year from Los Angeles to the CSRA to be home for the holidays. Why not sleep in and enjoy some time on the course?

There's plenty of stress that comes with the holiday joy. Maybe one of the best gifts is to give your family a little space before all of the celebrating.

"Just to spend time with family, have a little fun. Let my mom have a little time to get ready and everything and we're going to mass later. I didn't really do the big thing -- my uncle made an eagle on one of the par 5's," said Brenna Webster. Happy Mom, happy holiday!

Or, it could be a way to start your holiday celebrations early. There were a few anonymous golfers who admitted they were skipping work on New Year's Eve to get a round in before getting their holiday plans underway.

For whatever reason you might play on Christmas Eve, may your round be as joyful as the season. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays.