June 9, 2020

Golf's Back in Northern California--With Some Changes

After a few months of deprivation and then preparation, many of us in recent weeks have returned to the course for a few rounds. In coming back, we’ve experienced a few twists. Some things feel a bit strange, but other changes seem like potential keepers. In any case, new protocols will be in place for a while.

Here’s our ranking of the Top 3 changes as we see it:

  1. The Flagsticks – we were just getting used to the new Rules on optionally leaving the flagstick in for putting. Everyone had different strategies and preferences; now it’s one less thing to think about – just leave it in and don’t touch it. As for the cup itself, there are some creative solutions for letting you retrieve your holed ball without touching the cup. Foam noodles, whiffle balls, PVC pipe, lifters and more.
  2. The Bunkers – no rakes means one less thing to touch. There are a few different approaches, depending by course or club or event. There are options for preferred lie, relief inside and even outside the bunker. If you are playing in a competition, make sure you ask about this! And, if you can, use your foot or club to smooth the sand, we are not givingup on being helpful and being courteous to our fellow players.
  3. The Camaraderie – it’s still there, just contactless. Practice your ‘air high-five’ moves during and after the round, acknowledge your fellow players with words and elbow bumps. It is amazing how the absence of the handshake impacts the whole experience. We hope that comes back when it can but for now we keep finding ways to improvise.

Remember, we’re all in this together and out there to enjoy golf, the outdoors and our buddies in the face of challenging times.

If you haven’t ventured out yet, see our backgrounder for what to expect in getting to the course – “5 Tips for Getting Back on the Course”.

Want to see our guidelines for posting scores during pandemic protocols?– read it here.