Reflection On The Return To Golf
Hopefully, by now, everyone that is able to has successfully and safely managed to either play some golf or has a tee-time booked for the coming few days. Helped by some great weather, and the whole 'absence makes the heart grow fonder', golf just seems more enjoyable than it ever has before.
From the sounds of things, those that have managed to play have been fantastic at sticking to all the rules highlighted by the Government and enforced measures by the various golfing bodies. People have been extremely conscious about the various distancing measures used, to the point where any marshals or starters that are being used to remind people of the rules have pretty much become redundant. It goes to show that the golfing community are very sensible and don't want to lose the game that we all love so much. Yes there are, and always will be, exceptions, but on the whole it sounds like the golfing community is pulling together to keep things going for everyone. It does then bring back the question of was there even any need to close golf courses in the first place?
There have been a lot of comments about the pace of play too - playing in 2-balls with slightly bigger gaps in tee times turns every day into millionaire's golf. Let's face it, there's no reason why people should be playing slow. We're all playing casual golf, there's nothing on the line, so why not get on with it? There's no worrying about taking the flag out then putting it back in for that one awkward person in your group. There's no raking bunkers (which always seems to take some people an eternity). Technically, with social distancing, you could almost tee off at pretty much the same time as your playing partner. If only the speed of golf was always like this. Maybe these changing times will lead to the pace of play picking up around the world - Dustin Johnson certainly was living proof of this last week at the TaylorMade Driving Relief Challenge. Its not often you see a tour pro playing before the TV coverage can even cut across to them!
We've even heard that membership applications for golf clubs are on the increase with the availability of play once again. This can only be good for the game, and maybe the fact that golf is one of the first sports back has encouraged those part-time golfers to get into the game fully, or those that had stopped playing to get back into the habit. Anything that we can all do to grow the game has to be a good thing.