For most of my life I never thought about becoming a Florida man, and even more than that I knew not to become a Florida ManSunshine State’s inspiration for countless amazing headlines, from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune to the Palm Beach Post to, on its best/worst days, the Smoking Gun website.

You know the guy I’m talking about, the man with the ugly tattoo right in the middle of his forehead that you can’t talk about without descriptors like naked, meth, drive-thru McDonald’s, an unnamed ex-girlfriend and, too often with a machete in his hand or an alligator in his pants.

Or both.

You think I’m kidding, but consider these headlines:

“Florida Man Attacks ATM With Hatchet After It Refuses To Take His Check.”

Or, “Florida man attempts to leave store with chainsaw stuffed in his pants.”

Or this one, barely a machete to be a pure poetry title, “Florida Man Arrested for Trying to Get Alligator Drunk”.

So no, no Florida Man for this journalist, but for a month it’s really nice to be a man in Florida.






This Florida man doesn’t shy away from alligators around golf courses.




This all crossed my mind a few days ago after a wonderful Sunday morning 18 hole in the Florida golf community where we are staying for a month. There were eight of us, my wife and I and three other couples who, like us, have homes in Bayfield on Lake Superior, but unlike us spend their winters in Port Charlotte, South Florida. While we waited for lunch to be served on the sunny terrace, we all talked about how much fun we had had watching the webcam at the lakeside hotel in Bayfield, which day after day – in April, remember – revealed in chilling detail the snow and ice still visits our small hometown like a tourist not returning home.

If that wasn’t enough, the camera also showed the US Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock arriving to cut a channel from the mainland to Madeline Island two frozen miles away, opening up a channel so the ferries could start making their way . Even so, we agreed that there might still be some icicles floating on the water when we returned in May, as it was that kind of winter.

And still is. Courses in southern Wisconsin may be open for play, but an email that came in said, unfortunately I thought, a favorite course near Minocqua would push back its opening day because there were still too much snow on the ground. And another note from a friend who sends daily alerts began, the author’s desperation dripping with every word, “Dateline: Bayfield, 36F, gray, calm, impending rain and high winds for the next two days. ( Expletive.) All I have.

As an infrequent and relatively novice snowbird, the lack of snow and ice takes some getting used to, even though I try my best. The other day my wife and I went to a driving range near our rental house where the tee directly faced a large pond so any shot from even 20 yards was a sensation. I couldn’t help but think of my first outing this spring in Wisconsin, where an errant shot came to rest on a frozen pond, close enough to the edge for me to pull it out of the ice and play on it. .

Not that I’m trashing Wisconsin golf. I look forward to doing it at Apostle Highlands in Bayfield in May when the blue waters of Lake Superior, frigid or not, reflect the warming sun and sailboats go where ice cutters are no longer needed. I really do. But for now, I’m happy to be a Florida man, playing golf where the palm trees sway and, instead of icy Lake Superior, with a pool warm as bath water for my after-round swim. .

Sure, there are alligators in the ponds I pass on my morning walk, but I don’t fear for my safety. I have my machete, after all.