"The Most Important Shot in Golf is the Next One." - Ben Hogan
It’s no surprise when we say that this pandemic has changed everything we’ve ever known. From having to wear masks to grocery shop, professional sports streaming athletes playing horse at home, to even new regulations on the golf course. While golf is one of the few sports that offers an easy way to socially distance yourself and still enjoy the outdoors while being active, courses have been taking heavy precautions by implementing new rules, regulations, and even course supplies to make sure their golfers are safe.
We had the chance to get out this past weekend and these are a few things we noticed while being out there:
Part of a golf outing is having a few beers in the cooler, with some sort of music playing on your cart, throwing in some lippers with the boys, and making stupid bets. Now, if you choose to take a cart it’s one person per cart (that’s to say you go to a course offering carts) or the alternative option is taking a pushcart.
On usual outings we find ourselves choosing to drive over walk 9 times out of 10, but don’t sleep on the pushcart experience. Not only does taking a pushcart offer great exercise but it allows for more conversation the entire round. We noticed in our round last weekend, more people chose to take a pushcart instead of drive, which allowed for good timing between groups at the tee boxes.
A mental game every golfer has played in their head is the, “when do I crack my first beer?” The game really depends on how the golfer's first 4-6 holes resulted, but the accessibility to flag down a cart girl to drink 4 beers to “improve” your game may be a thing of the past. A good amount of courses are now offering beverage and snacks at the beginning of your round and are also having outposts that are set up deeper into the course too.
Other than the new cart rules, courses have taken extra steps to make sure their golfers experience the same fun but in a more safe manner. A prime example of what equipment has made a change is the hole itself. Most courses rolled out a new cup that has iron prongs to keep the ball at ground level, which prevents golfers from having to reach their hand down into the cup. This technology doesn’t affect someone from sinking a hole in one or a deep putt for birdie, but rather eliminates the exchange of touching additional surfaces.
When the weather is perfect, and cabin fever is at an all-time high, there is no better way to get out and be active than the game of golf. The industry has taken the right approach to adapt to the changes they had to make. While driving ranges are closed across most of the country, even having the opportunity to swing some clubs around is a treat in itself. So go dust off your clubs, throw a polo on and start swinging.
Most importantly sink putts... and stay suave.