In a world where so many activities are now off-limits, it can be hard to find something fun to do. That is why golfing during coronavirus is perfect. This is a sport that is practically built on social distancing! Throw in a mask for your trip to the clubhouse and a bottle of hand sanitizer and you are (almost) ready.
So what are the keys to golfing during coronavirus? It’s funny that golfing during coronavirus is not much different than golfing used to be. Sure the options in the pro shop are limited, and your chances of sitting down for lunch and a beverage of your choice after the round may not be available. The upside is that once you are on the course, the fun of playing golf remains just about the same. As with all things today, you just need to do a little planning and take a little extra precaution before you head out for this fun activity.
It may feel like everything that used to be fun to do is now severely limited or just completely shut down. The funny thing is, golf courses have not really been severely impacted by this pandemic. In fact, it may be just the opposite.
I have played two or three times in the last month and the experience, while a little bit different, golfing during coronavirus is still basically the same as it was pre-pandemic. Not only is golf a great activity (and great exercise if you choose to walk the course) but it can really help to change your whole outlook on life if only for a little while.
Trying to partake in as many “normal” activities as possible, really helps to take my mind off of the more ominous and dire news of our time.
Golfing During Coronavirus
So while this is most assuredly going to be a great time, it does require a little more planning these days. You are going to be up against the same issues that you had pre-pandemic. Trying to get tee times on busy days like weekends still may be a challenge.
As with pre-pandemic days, golf is not a cheap hobby. This can hit even harder now in these uncertain economic times. That is why it is such a great idea to hit up sites like Golf Now to find discounts and deals. Golf courses are like any other business that has been hit by tough economic times so if you do a little digging, you may find a great deal.
Once you are at the course all you really need to do is use some common sense. Keep your distance, watch what you touch, and wear a mask indoors and even on the course if you feel safer in one.
One of the best things about golfing during coronavirus is that this is a sport that is practically built on social distancing. Think about it for a second, even before the coronavirus golf was not a sport where you continually huddled really close to other players.
You are outdoors, in the fresh air and in the sunshine, and even as part of a group you are really alone playing your own game. I am by no means a medical expert, but it certainly seems like one of the safest hobbies you can partake in right now.
Here is another great thing about golfing during coronavirus that fits right in with our pandemic lifestyle right now. Cart girls! I mean here is somebody who’s driving around a cart with food and beverages for you that you can partake in while you’re playing. Best of all it will not be at all difficult to keep your distance while still enjoying your favorite food and beverage.
Golfing during coronavirus provides so many benefits for you in this uncertain world beyond just the fun of playing golf for a couple of hours. Let’s dive in and walk through some of the do’s and don’ts to get you out on the course today.
Finding a Tee Time
This is my opinion on this but there seems to be a weird balance being struck at golf courses. They are like any other business that is probably struggling financially right now. They could have many former customers that are out of work or have some reason they cannot go golfing now.
The flip side is golfing during coronavirus is one thing that really has not been changed that much by the pandemic. Of course, there is no way I can speak to the individual rules and regs of every locality but in general, it seems if you could do something outdoors where you can keep your distance, it is all systems go.
Because of that, when I go to sites like Golf Now to book there are not nearly as many “deals” as I would have hoped. Not that I want to benefit from the misfortune of others, but the very fact that so few deals exist tells me courses are at least weathering this storm pretty well.
So what that means for you as a golfer is that the same rules basically still apply while golfing during coronavirus. If you are flexible in your times, finding a tee time is no problem. If you must play Saturday morning, you better try booking a few days in advance.
Of course, get out now when the days are long and the number of tee times are increased. Just make sure you are drinking plenty of water (plus other beverages of your choice) on the hot days of summertime.
Arrival At The Course
I played about 6 weeks ago with my two brothers-in-law as well as one of his buddies. Problem one:
- How do you choose playing partners
- What if you get to the course and they want to put you with others
I did not live in the same household with any of the people I was playing with. Given that, the truth is the car ride to the course is probably more dangerous pandemic-wise than playing golf with any of them.
Point being, just because you are golfing does not mean you should forget what is going on in the world around you. The brothers-in-law I did not worry about (we had been hanging out for a couple of days already so the golf trip was not going to make that any worse) and the friend….I was polite and just kept a 6-foot distance. He clearly wanted to do the same.
The bigger issue is being paired with strangers when golfing during coronavirus. On my last outing, I went with my neighbor (who’s kids play with mine all the time, so again, if there is an issue there, golfing with him is the least of my worries).
We were paired with two older singles. The woman kept a good distance. The dude kept getting kind of close. I do not think there was anything malicious in his action. I think that is just the kind of guy he is. Possibly a little uncomfortable during normal times. Downright dangerous now.
I was able to keep my distance by just “scooting” away. If I really thought it was getting to be a problem I certainly would have spoken up.
The point being do not let golf “etiquette” or fear of ruining a good time stop you from speaking up. Be polite and simply ask any person like this to give you a little space. And put it like that, make it about you, and don’t accuse the other person of improper behavior.
As with all things today, when golfing during coronavirus if it gets to be too much, be safe and bailout. Better to lose a few holes of golf than……..
Other than that it is pretty much business as usual with a few exceptions. Pro shops want you wearing masks and they only want one group in there at a time.
No browsing for a new shirt or a hat you get a free bowl of soup with (you have seen Caddyshack, yes?). You can still buy balls and tees and the like, but it will most likely be asking and receiving from the staff-no touching stuff you are not buying.
A special note that carts can be an issue. All the courses I have played make a special note of saying carts, both powered and pull, are on a first come first serve basis when golfing during coronavirus. This is probably due to the fact that they no longer allow two people to ride in a cart.
In my experience so far I have not seen a shortage of carts. You will probably experience the same thing but best to check upfront and be prepared that one might not be available.
Playing The Round
Actually playing is not much different. Here are the differences I noticed:
- No rakes in the bunkers
- No ball washers
- Little sections of “pool noodle” in the cups at the bottom of the flag to keep the ball from falling too far in
- No removal of the flag
Of all these things, the only thing I think would impact your actual round of golf are the rakes in the bunkers. I am not some stickler for PGA rules so this rarely would be a problem for me even if there were rakes there:).
I think the new consensus is, since there’s no rake in the bunker and you may end up with a ball in a previous player’s footprint, you can improve your lie in the bunker. If you do play by the letter of the law, by all means, check with the course before beginning a round to hear the local rules.
After The Round
If you would like to stay at the course and have some food or beverage after the round, this most likely is really going to be a localized thing. Many municipalities are banning indoor dining so you may be out of luck unless your course has a patio area for just such a thing.
All things being equal, this is a minor inconvenience in my mind. The whole point was to get out and play some golf. If you really need a sandwich and a beer after the round, pack it beforehand and then tailgate in the parking lot!
What do I do if only drive when I play and I get to the course and they do not have any power carts?
It seems hard for me to believe that any course is going to try and charge you money to play golf when they don’t have a power cart available for you. Of course, this does not take into account the time and effort you made to get to the course and the disappointment you will feel not being able to play.
My best suggestion is to make sure you call ahead right before you leave to see what the status of the carts are. Another alternative is to invest in a pull cart of your own and keep it in your trunk. It may not be as luxurious as driving while you golf, but walking two or three miles while you play a round of golf is going to be great exercise!