Quarantine Day #who knows at this point: It’s been weeks — possibly years — since I’ve set foot on a golf course. I’ve cleaned my clubs and reorganized my golf bag for absolutely no reason, multiple times, and rolled too many 4-foot putts on my tiny indoor putting green to count. Holla if you hear me.
All the social media challenges and endless hours spent on trick shot attempts, at-home workouts and watching replays of the good ol’ days will never fill the void we’re all feeling right now. I never considered a world without golf until now, but I definitely don’t want to live here anymore. At first it seemed courses would continue offering safe sanctuaries as we watched the world come down around us, but as the novel Coronavirus swept across the country it brought unprecedented change with it.
Courses are closed in 14 states, as of now, according to the GCSAA, with limited or restricted access in a number of others. Colorado is on the others list — with some municipalities allowing courses to renew operations under strict health and safety guidelines. With our local muni courses newly reopened we had a chance to jump on the tee sheet, so we took it.
It’s the first time I’ve ever second guessed if I want to golf. I mean, is it selfish to play when others can’t, is it reckless or otherwise controversial? Is it fine within the confines of “safe” play? Is it actually safe to play at all?
Having all the time in the world to overthink the decision it was on to making mental lists. Reasons to play include unrelenting cabin fever, missing the game and my friends, exercise — yeah I’m pulling that card — and the overall need for any sense of normalcy. Reasons not to play include becoming another statistic of the global pandemic, and/or contributing to its spread.
In short, we tee off in about two hours, walking 9-holes. We have to wear masks outside, contactless booking and payment, the clubhouse and driving range are closed, no-touch flags, modified cups, no scorecards, no carts, no nuthin’.
I’m excited to play, really. At most I’ll find a brief reprieve from this thing, at the least least I’ll come away with a golf experience I’ll be telling future generations about. Knowing — or at least believing — that my risk of exposure on the golf course is no greater than when taking my dog for a walk makes me feel a little less reckless. I’m practicing all the recommended social distancing when out in public, and my risk of transmitting it to others is low since I live and work alone at home, and keeping my adventures outside limited to “essential,” barring a round of golf.
It’s a bittersweet feeling — pairing the usual excitement of getting a round in with the anxiety of decision making during a global crisis — or maybe it’s just me.