By Bruce Meadows
We haven’t ‘turned the corner’ yet . . .
Despite what you may have read in the newspaper or online, in a tweet or heard on TV, we have not “turned the corner” on Covid-19.
In fact, depending on how much you trust doctors, infectious disease experts and others who are educated and have knowledge of such things, we may be far from shedding our “new normal” tag.
I don’t like that term because it implies we have no choice but to become accustomed to what’s going on in our lives. We do.
More than 230,000 of our fellow citizens have died – maybe more if you read between the lines, maybe less if you believe other sources – and the economy is suffering, some of us more than others.
Mitigation – wearing protective facial coverings, maintaining a safe distance from others, following sensible and responsible hygiene protocol, etc. definitely can have a positive effect.
I think California has basically been doing a good job in these areas, although it seems there is still an element of our population – for whatever reason – that scoffs at the idea of wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance from others, etc.
I continue to be baffled when I see golfers walk into our pro shop with no face covering . . . some say they left their mask in the car and some simply don’t think face coverings are necessary.
They come in the shop with a hat or T-shirt pulled over their face and assume this is adequate . . . it is not.
As most people know, my face covering is mainly to protect YOU, and your mask is there to protect me. So what’s the problem ???
We don’t have “super-spreader” issues at the golf course, but when I see large groups of people – political rallies come to mind – it makes me wonder what it will take for people to realize what we need to do.
So many businesses have closed down – some may never re-open – and so many people are struggling to pay the rent, put food on the table, that the idea of doing whatever we can makes so much more sense.
As a lot of those who know what it will take, say “it doesn’t have to be this way.” I sure do agree. Let’s do what we can, be conscientious and unselfish – and smart!!! — and be considerate of those around us.
We are entering a time of year when if mitigation is not improved and practiced, our “new normal” will become much worse.
If you have any thoughts on how Covid-19 has affected you and your family and friends, including how it may have impacted your golf game, I would love to hear from you.
When the rain does come !!!
It’s got to rain eventually, right ???
And when it does, how we play the game of golf is affected, so I came across this information online and wanted to share it.
Rounds of golf in the rain can be a battle against the elements. The last thing you want, for your next round, is to pick up your bag for your next round and have clubs caked with mud and still damp from the downpour at the end of your round.
So let this be a checklist for the next time you have a rain-filled round. There’s no substitute for a fresh set of equipment, and once you get into this routine, you’ll find it’s easy to follow after any rainy day.
Take your shoes off in the garage. Of course, you don’t want to be tracking mud and wet grass in the house. Take newspaper (assuming you have newspaper) or some paper to dry it out, roll it up in a ball and put the paper inside the shoes. It will help them dry. As an alternate, consider a shoe tree to put in your golf shoes. You won’t win any cool-guy contest, but you’ll be shocked how your shoes keep shape.
Take your clubs out of your bag and bring them inside. This is really a game-changer. Convince your significant other to let you stow your clubs in a back room, but having them at room temperature is important to letting them dry out.
Turn the bag upside down to dry but before leaving it inside, turn it upside down in the garage. You won’t believe how much crap gets in the bottom of your bag and you don’t want it on your rug. Leave it upside down overnight.
If you use a pull cart, take it out and clean it off. This is crucial—if it’s a rainy, muddy round, stuff is bound to cling to the push cart. Make sure you clean it before your next use, otherwise you’ll be growing something in the trunk of your car that only the USGA Green Section will be able to identify.
Place your golf clubs grip-end out by your warmest part of your house. Having recently played in really wet conditions at our company golf outing, I just did this—and what a game-changer. Don’t place them too close to the heaters, but it’s important for the grips to dry out.
Do not put your clubs right back in the bag. Let them stay out overnight. Do not put headcovers back on. Leave them out to dry or put them in the dryer.
Clean the mud out of your grooves. If you haven’t done this, you wouldn’t believe the amount of mud caked up in the grooves of your irons and wedges. Ten minutes with a toothpick, a good brush or a dry towel, and you’ll have clean grooves.
Take your glove out of your bag. Put your gloves on a drying rack to dry out. You’ll get some more longevity out of your gloves and eliminate having to buy a new glove in your next round.
Take your rain gear out of your golf bag. Double check on the fabric of your jacket and make sure you can throw them in your dryer.
Take anything out of your bag that got wet. Scorecards, yardage books, or anything that retains moisture is good to let dry out so they don’t get ruined. You can leave Sharpie, tees and ballmarkers in the bag.
Open your umbrella and leave it in the garage to dry. That wet umbrella can get your golf bag all wet if you jam it back in all wet.
Do all this and your clubs should be ready for your 8 a.m. tee time the next day except maybe for the shoes, which is why it’s important for everyone to own two pair.
Golf on the rise — almost everywhere . . .
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, golf has become the go-to sport for Americans looking to get out of the house and enjoy a day in the fresh air. According to the National Golf Foundation, rounds are up nationally nearly by 9 percent. But despite this renewed interest in the game, one state has not enjoyed the boom.
As golf is played more and more in the lower 48, the island state of Hawaii i has actually seen its year-over-year rounds drop significantly. According to an article from the NGF, rounds in September were down over 40 percent year-over-year at Hawaii’s 74 golf courses — nearly one third of which being resort courses.
This significant drop in rounds played can be attributed to the plummeting of air travel during the pandemic, and the mandatory 14-day quarantine for any visitors arriving in Hawaii. With Hawaii being a tropical destination, particularly for golf, that relies heavily on the tourism industry, golf courses have remained largely empty. Tourism accounts for over 20 percent of the state’s economy, so this has been a significant blow.
“It’s frustrating to be in the visitor industry, which much of this whole state depends on, and for us to have these beautiful courses that for the most part kind of empty,” Mauna Kea Resort’s Director of Golf Josh Silliman told NGF.
But recently, Hawaii implemented updated safety protocols that should alleviate some of the issues. As of Oct. 15, Hawaii has started a pre-travel testing program that will allow people traveling to the state to take a test before departure that will exempt them from the two-week quarantine. The state is hopeful this will jumpstart their tourism industry.
How do your greens fees rate?
Seventy-five dollars for 18? A little high. Fifty dollars? A little low.
According to recently released greens fee data for October from the National Golf Foundation, average cost for an 18-hole round with a cart on the weekend was $61 nationally. The nine-hole average cost was $33.
The medians – the middle number in a series of numbers – were lower. The 18-hole cost was $49, and the nine-hole was $26. The data was released as part of the Foundation’s most recent “Covid-19 update.” The report also said rounds in September were up 26 percent from a year ago, the biggest such increase this year, and golf equipment sales topped $1 billion for July, August and September, a third-quarter record.
The greens fee data, Foundation Chief Research Officer David Lorentz wrote, was used in part in response to a New York Magazine story that described golf as “slow and expensive.”
“Golf obviously has startup costs, but in terms of ongoing expenses, it’s actually quite practical for the majority of Americans,” Lorentz wrote.
“If you’re willing to steer away from the busiest times, that median rate drops to almost $30. That’s somewhere between an $8 and $12 hourly rate for recreation, give or take, which would seem to be as good as anything else that’s pay-to-participate.”
Let’s hear from you . . .
Thanks for your comments, questions and suggestions. I appreciate getting them and would like to get as many as possible. If you have information about anything golf-related, including upcoming clinics, activities, tournaments or sales, let me know. And if you have questions, complaints or compliments about golf in our area, I want to hear them.
If you have a golfer – pro or amateur — you know who you think would make an interesting story, tell me about it and I will take it from there. Having trouble with your game? Let me know what it is and I’ll try to get an answer for you from a local pro.
We would be proud to include you as one of our sponsors – thanks to Bill Carson at Wine Country Golf for his continued support – so if you care to get some details about being a sponsor of GOLF 707, email me at email@example.com