I’ll start the lift with apologizing for letting you down. I’ve done the complete opposite of lifting a finger with my golf blog. There is no excuse. I could blame COVID-19, PGA Tour cancellations, lack of work, but that would be silly. I blame me! There is no reason why I shouldn’t have kept up with this. I’m also responsible for our Tee 2 Green Newsletter that hasn’t been up to date either for our club members. Since membership is free (one of the few free memberships out there) I haven’t heard any complaints. That probably fueled some of my procrastinating, but no more! It’s time to move on and get things going.
This is probably the appropriate place to start about Covid-19 cancellations and what it’s doing to the golf industry. It’s devastating. It’s hurting me and my colleagues on PGA Tour Radio, my partners at Tee 2 Green, our sponsors, country clubs, equipment reps, public course, manufacturers, etc. If it’s connected to golf, it’s getting crushed right now. I believe some of it is unnecessary.
I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on radio or TV, but I fashion myself a golf expert and I say with confidence, we should be allowed to play to golf during this pandemic. Writing ‘play’ and ‘pandemic’ in the same sentence feels odd and sounds even foolish, but when you think about it, it makes sense. All the experts have told us social distancing is the key to beating the virus (I think masks and hand washing/sanitizing are right up there) and it seems to be working as far as cases are concerned. It’s not working for the economy, but lives matter more than money (we’ll need to remember that).
Golf in New York State where I live, was first deemed a non-essential business and therefore courses were shutdown. However, industry groups lobbied the state with the excellent argument that since golf is played outside and would be fairly easy for players to stay distant, that it should be allowed. The state relented and we were allowed to play. But then a few bad apples ruined the bunch (always the case). There were reports of players sharing carts and hanging out in the parking lot after the round. This was not good social distancing and they were reported by either other golfers or drive-by citizens. I’m not shocked by either the lack of following the rules or by the tattle-tailing. Hence, on April 9th, Governor Andrew Cuomo deemed golf non-essential and courses shutdown. But they don’t need to be. He took the easy way out, punishing everyone instead of the few. What he should have done is institute the following:
—Golf carts are no longer allowed on the course. You must walk
—20 minute tee time separation for all courses
—Limit the number of players in the group to 3 instead of 4.
—Only maintenance employees and one manager allowed at the business.
This was the case at many places, including my club (Lancaster Country Club). It was well done and easy. Show up, walk to the first tee, play golf and go home. It was easy to stay 10 feet apart and still enjoy each other’s company. Any bets were settled via Venmo.
I was criticized on social media for playing and suggesting we still should be. I actually don’t care about that. The supportive responses pointed out that if we can hike, bike, and fish, why can’t we golf. All valid arguments and on point. Let’s hope the industry leaders (although I know of one group that supports the government decision-surprisingly) can get this back on track, and more importantly, golfers follow the rules.
—If you missed our Tee 2 Green Radio show (the show goes on) you missed the Jon Rahm interview. You can listen to that and other show features in our podcast section of Tee2green.golf.
—We started a Tee 2 Green extra podcast on Youtube. Check out the first episode here and let us know if you like it (we’ll do more if yes).
—I was able to play two rounds with my new Callaway Marvik clubs and the verdict is in. They’re great! (Thank you Kellogs for letting my used Tony the Tiger’s catchphrase). The driver has given me more carry distance than what I had been getting from my previous drivers. I currently have it at 9 degrees, which is actually higher loft than I had been playing (7.5—8). I may change that once I get a chance to work on the range, but early results tell me I should keep it.
— I also switched to the Callaway Chrome Soft and love it. I’m able to get the distance and better control (spin) with my short game. I also love the designs, especially the Triple Track which has shown great early results in putting.
—I hope the Easter Bunny brings you some new eggs (golf balls—Chrome Soft). Happy Easter and Passover.