ASGCA Past President Greg Martin (Martin Design) shares an essay that reminds readers – especially in challenging times – of the value golf and golf courses provide to a community as a source of refuge and retreat.

His essay follows:

The vast benefit of golf.

It is surreal out there. I hear distant birds chirping, wind in trees and dogs barking from blocks away that are usually muffled by the white noise of traffic, trains and planes. But now there is nothing but the sounds of nature, flora and fauna. It is both refreshing and startling. The bliss is tormenting. While in lock down, we can still visit the parks, walk the dogs and breathe in the out of doors.

Remember, golf is refuge. It is respite. It is recovery. Yes, golf is a game, but it is also, as the saying goes “a chance for the game and the ‘out-of-doors’ to sweep the cobwebs”. Now more than ever we need to ‘sweep the cobwebs’. Golf has the capacity to provide retreat from today’s challenges. So, as we come to terms with our new reality, we should consider golf and its greatest attribute. It is a refuge.

I recently received an email advocating that golf courses could and should remain open during the shutdown. While social distancing is vital to pandemic control, playing golf could be part of the solution, or at minimum a cure for the ‘cobwebs’.

CRAIG KESSLER, Director, Governmental Affairs, Southern California Golf Association stated –

“There are myriad factors that go into decisions to remain open or to close. The threshold factor may be whether any jurisdictionally enabled governmental agency has proscribed such, but it is hardly the only factor. Courses must consider whether their footprints enable them to practice employee and public mandates re social distancing. They must consider community expectations and needs. And they must consider factors unique to their situation and clientele.”

Certainly, there are a number of relevant factors as to how to open and operate a golf course or club in post COVID-19. But the simple fact is: golf may be one of the safest places to be, if you’re going to be somewhere. Golf, once again, will prove itself a solution, a cure, respite and refuge.
I look forward to the day when we can all reconnect on a golf course, wish one another well and tee it up.

Stay safe.