Away from the Karens, away from the political opportunism, away from the quarantines, away from the fear, and away from the death, golf was there for us during the COVID-19 pandemic. The course, any course, was the obvious choice for where to escape the constrictive and infective indoors, the kids’ educational and social deprivation, the tedium of binge watching, and the mandated intimacy with the spouse that you never bargained for. The adverse consequences of governmental orders were real, and the golfers whose governors wanted courses closed, too, were a step ahead and flooded other states’ wide open, virus-free green spaces. Golf actually grew after decades of stagnation, revived by a deadly virus. Many players no longer cursed (as much), hurled clubs, or pounded them in disgust. Did it really matter anymore in the surreal big picture? The game became more fun, our scores less important, and our playing partners more pleasant. The game took on an importance and place in our lives that we never envisioned. Golf, its operators, vendors, consumers, and even publishers, did not let us down. And now, as the Spring ’22 season blooms, we’re not looking back.
By Michael Keating