Today was the first day back from Covid hiatus and I am beaming with satisfaction. It did not hurt that it was 85 degrees and sunny and a perfect day for playing hooky from work. I have been practicing weekly during the pandemic and even though it has been two months between actual rounds, it was really my 10th round of the year when you factor in my five pre-Covid rounds and five days of February golf in Myrtle Beach. All things considered; my game was sharp. I drove it well, hit some solid short irons and carded a 6-over 77.
Courses in Maryland have been open over a week and are widely divergent in how each are handling their response to the emergency. I am fortunate because my club, Blue Mash, is focused on providing a golf experience as close to normal as possible. First, the golf course and all practice facilities were in excellent shape. The crew had obviously taken the down time and spent it wisely. Greens were running fast and true, bunkers were nicely edged, and the sand was smooth (but without rakes), and all sources of shared water were removed from the course. Most excellent was the handling of the pins. They set the traditional flag stick holders upside down in the cups which allowed us to sink putts and have the ball just rest slightly below the grass for easy retrieval. I was happy they didn’t deploy a system that would leave some ambiguity as to whether the ball was holed. We played one player per cart, but you could double up with a family member or someone from the same household. Either way, there were no openings on the tee sheet until 5:30 p.m. and when we completed at 2 p.m. they had run out of carts. Finally, it was nice that the outside portion of the grill was open, where golfers could congregate and socially distance comfortably for some food and drink after their rounds.
There were only two minor issues. I detected a smell on the driving range from a recent fertilization that I would not want to be out in all day, but it was fine for a 30-minute warm up. Second, was the sensitivity of the cart’s newly installed GPS units. On several occasions, we were riding the rough of the hole being played and got audible warning beeps that our carts were out of position. I explained to the shop staff and they said they would make an adjustment.
Blue Mash was packed for a Friday and that’s understandable given how cooped up people were feeling. It was awesome to get out and play real golf again; the season has officially re-started. 😊
Has your course opened yet? Play well!
4 thoughts on “Golf: It’s Back!!”
Sounds like an awesome day. Your social distancing is the same here with respect to carts. You are off to a fantastic start and I look forward to hearing more about your successes this year.
We had our first 9 holes today and it was great to get golfing again. I have decided to wait for my first 4 days of playing before writing about it. But if you are on instagram, check out my post. My first GIR of the year, on the first hole, to 6 inches on a par 5 from 135 yards. The rest of round was good. Finished 4 over for 9 holes. Overall, it was awesome.
Jim, I saw the pic of your approach shot on Facebook. Must be an incredible feeling to stick your first approach! Just curious, did you warm up using your DIY range before heading out? I know we discussed the possibilities in the past.
No I did not. It is 50 minute drive to the course, so I am not sure about the benefits. I will try it over the next few days and see. It was a great feeling to hit my first approach shot tight! New clubs and all.
Jim, keep us posted on the DIY warm-up. I’m interested to see if you can stay loose over the duration of your drive to the course. I suspect it will be easier in the hot weather.