It was a long six weeks. I’m not talking just about being housebound because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the fact that the area golf courses also were shut down.
I try to play at least once a week. However, that wasn’t possible during most of March and April. It was torture to experience an 80-degree day and not being able to play.
Finally, the city courses opened for limited play with several restrictions. The clubhouse was closed, you paid at a side door, and the course did not accept cash. We were supposed to be limited to one person per cart, but they allowed us to ride together. There were no rakes in the bunkers and no drinking water on the course. I had to print out a scorecard because they weren’t available. The flags were in place with styrofoam cups in the holes, so you didn’t have to remove the flag to retrieve your ball. The golf carts were cleaned after each use, and we were assigned to a cart that had been prepared.
After two weeks, some of the restrictions were lifted, and we were able to enter the clubhouse to pay, buy snacks or drinks and get a scorecard and pencil. But the other limitations on the course remained.
Because of the nature of golf, social distancing was not a problem, other than riding in a cart together. Surprisingly, the game moved along with few delays as everyone ahead of us in separate carts kept pace.
I wasn’t the only one missing golf. Getting a weekday tee time required making a reservation several days ahead of time. For a weekend slot, you had to sign up a week earlier.
Southern Utah is blessed with pleasant weather most of the year. There are more than a dozen golf courses in the area and are destinations for visitors from everywhere. The parking lot was full of cars with license plates from nearby Nevada, Colorado, and California. Those three states hadn’t opened their courses by late April.
Northern Utah was still having snow storms while I was playing golf in St. George.
I probably shouldn’t be complaining about such a trivial matter to some. Missing golf for a few weeks wasn’t the end of the world. I still have my part-time job at a local grocery store, and that is far more important. Dealing with the public in the store is scary at times because most people don’t bother to wear a mask, as all our associates are required to do. Keeping a six-foot distance is not always possible, like making a six-foot putt. But I still have a job, unlike so many people, and I can now play golf again.
Southern Utah is a desert area. The summer heat will be here very soon. That may help slow down the virus. And it may help with getting a tee time. When it’s 100 degrees outside, not many people are going to be playing. I can usually play anytime without making a reservation. I don’t mind playing in the dry, summer heat after living in the steamy, humid South the past 35 years.
Golf is important to me. It’s a chance to be outdoors under clear, blue skies and walking on bright green grass. My cell phone is turned off, and the virus and work are far from my mind, at least for a few hours.
It is not a good walk spoiled, as a pundit once claimed.
– Ryan from St. George, Utah, a FAR customer who is finding purpose in this new stage of his life.
* The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Finance of America Reverse (LLC).