While most sports have been sidelined by the pandemic, golf plays on. We're fortunate that we all can still enjoy the game we love, albeit with a few precautionary adjustments.
Below we've outlined our Tips for Golfing During COVID-19. We are not medical professionals or experts, but we've been listening to those who are and have been applying some common sense rules during our rounds over the last month or so. Consider following these tips for added peace of mind during your next round.
Tips for Golfing During COVID-19
1. Reduce your group size.
The more players you have in your group, the greater the risk you take. For many of us, golf during the pandemic is a luxury (and a much needed distraction) so if you need to head out as a single to feel comfortable, so be it.
Take in the views, listen to some of Fury's hand selected tunes, and enjoy the fresh air.
2. Walk vs. ride.
Walking is much better than riding during the pandemic. It's better for social distancing, avoiding surfaces the virus can potentially live on, and exercise.
I'm sure you want your round to be as enjoyable as possible, so skip worrying about whether or not the cart is adequately disinfected (or worse, disinfecting it yourself) and get walking.
For added comfort, before the round remember to go through your bag and remove any items that add weight and aren't absolutely necessary - what seems light may take a toll over the course of 4 hours.
This is also a great time to invest in a push cart. I use a BagBoy Quad and love it.
3. Avoid bunker rakes.
The best adjustment of all is avoiding bunker rakes...assuming you find yourself in a bunker to begin with!
Skip the rake but still try to be courteous to your fellow players by "raking" your area with your shoes and being mindful of where you enter and exit the bunker.
4. Leave the pin in.
Take it from Bryson and leave the pin in to once again avoid touching surfaces. If you want to be extra cautious I recommend limiting yourself to one putt per hole and setting a 3-foot "gimmie" radius.
5. Pack disinfectant.
Even if you are not touching surfaces like pins, bunker rakes and golf carts, your ball-which ends up in your hands at the start and finish of every hole-is still touching all kinds of surfaces. This tip is for those who want to be extra cautious but it is highly recommended. Spit, seed droppings, tobacco products, etc. can all carry germs and are present on almost every green. Pack some sanitizer wipes and wipe down your ball after every hole.
6. No scavenging.
This is not the time to be looking for and picking up shag balls along the course. Same goes for tees. Focus on your own game and gear, and try to go home with as much as you came with (maybe slightly less if some water gets in the way - hey, it happens).
7. Enjoy the moment and have fun.
Most important of all - appreciate what you have and enjoy the moment! As we mentioned at the top of the article, while most sports are sidelined by this pandemic, we golfers can play on.
Be safe, have fun, and as always - go low!