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Are you playing golf during the coronavirus outbreak?

Golf during a pandemic  

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  1. 1. Are you playing golf during the coronavirus outbreak?

    • Yes
      319
    • No
      105


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Do you feel comfortable golfing during the shutdown?

Indoor or outdoor?

Are you walking or riding in a cart?

Will you be pulling the flagstick or leaving it in?

Any other specific things you might be doing to keep safe (i.e. wearing 2 gloves, keeping a safe distance when walking, etc.)?

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This seemed to be a bit of an overreaction to me...

QUINCY — On Saturday afternoon, Presidents Golf Course was paradise.

It was an 18-hole sanctuary from the coronavirus national emergency. Everyone was smiling on the 93-acre course, even after blown tap-ins and sliced drives.

One golfer said he felt as if he just got a “get out of jail card,” and another confessed to seeking a break from his germophobe wife. Most said it was a thrilling return to normalcy.

But beware the Ides of March. Word was soon passed among the staff that the municipal golf course would be closed Sunday until further notice because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The course already was taking precautions to avoid contamination.

Golf carts were banned to minimize contamination. Some players objected and cancelled tee times, but the slots were quickly taken, and the 52-degree day was a sellout.

 

In the pro shop there was a “wipe and swipe” sign at the cashier and employees cleaned all common areas regularly.

 

There was even new etiquette on the course — players were asked not to touch or remove the flagstick, and signs encouraged players to maintain social distance and use “hands free” celebrations for birdie putts that dropped.

A sign warned patrons to avoid using a shared water fountain.
A sign warned patrons to avoid using a shared water fountain. STAN GROSSFELD/ GLOBE STAFF

 

 

In the clubhouse, the bar at The View Restaurant and Tavern was doing a brisk business, and most of the golfers took the closing in stride. Some were upset.

The golf Saturday was “awesome,” but the closing “stupid," said Kevin Barry of Quincy.

“I think they are overdoing it. This is a golf course, it’s probably the safest place in the world, it’s outside, away from everyone. It’s dumb," he said.

A season-pass holder, Barry said he understood some of the precautions like no golf carts and didn’t mind walking the course.

 

Michael Mullen, director of Norfolk County, which oversees the club, said in a phone interview the decision to close the course was made “under an abundance of caution and following the trend we are seeing across the Commonwealth and the country. We will be constantly reassessing as we go along, as the public health situation continues to evolve.”

Told that some golfers thought the closing was overdoing it, he was unperturbed.

“We take our obligation as a governmental entity and our responsibility to the public all very seriously,” he said.

The View Restaurant and Tavern, inside the clubhouse, reluctantly decided to close as well.

“People assume that when the golf course is closed, we’re closed, so we are going to go with the golf course decision, to be safe rather than sorry,” said general manager Bill Fraser, who expressed concern about the effect on his staff and the economy.

 

 

It meant that students from North Quincy High and Fontbonne Academy would not be able to work jobs in the pro shops.

The golfers at the bar drank Bud Lite and drowned their sorrows.

“A lot of the golfers are angry,” Fraser said. “But they also understand it’s an unfortunate situation. So there is two sides to it. They’re mad that they can’t play golf but they understand the situation.”

Out on the course, no one worried about their handicaps, and some deliberately didn’t peek at their cellphones. It was old fashioned golf, a throwback to another era.

“It’s freakin’ great,” said Zach Field of Amesbury as he climbed the hill to the 4th hole and had a bird’s-eye view of the Boston skyline, while hoisting a Harpoon beer. “I’m not thinking about the virus.”

Zach Field of Amesbury played a round at Presidents Golf Course on Saturday.
Zach Field of Amesbury played a round at Presidents Golf Course on Saturday. STAN GROSSFELD/ GLOBE STAFF

Ryan Acone, of East Boston was grateful for the break and all the safety precautions.

“They are doing everything on God’s green earth they can do and still accommodating people. It’s a good escape to be out in Mother Nature and be social and not touching stuff and not at risk. Here you can still feel a sense of normalcy because if you’re just inside, you are going to get stir crazy," he said.

 

 

 

David Deuren said he was grateful to play, even for just one round.

“It was great to get outside, but I’m really worried about [the virus],” he said.

Randal Sklar was just savoring every moment.

“I’m having a blast out here today,” he said. “I’m not mad. It’s their call, but it is upsetting. It’s tough, a golf course seems like a pretty safe place to be and now you can’t even come out here so it looks like we will be stuck inside for a little bit. I’ll stay inside, have a couple of drinks and watch Netflix.”

Tee times sold out at Presidents Golf Course on Saturday, where two golfers avoided more traditional high-fives in favor of elbow knocks.
Tee times sold out at Presidents Golf Course on Saturday, where two golfers avoided more traditional high-fives in favor of elbow knocks. STAN GROSSFELD/ GLOBE STAFF
Presidents Golf Course will remain closed indefinitely because of coronavirus.
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Yep, played golf yesterday and rode in a cart. At work today.

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Couldn't read the link without logging in, no thanks. Unless they close courses, I hope to keep playing golf as social distancing is all but guaranteed after paying. It may be one of the few activities I can safely enjoy while we all go through this pandemic!

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1 minute ago, Middler said:

Couldn't read the link without logging in, no thanks. Unless they close courses, I hope to keep playing golf as social distancing is all but guaranteed after paying. It may be one of the few activities I can safely enjoy while we all go through this pandemic!

Sorry....updated it and removed the link.

Unless there are people in the trees then I think I'm okay.  LOL!

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I don't plan on changing any of my activities or schedule.  I golfed both Saturday and Sunday, and will continue to do so.  I am hoping to visit TopGolf tonight.  I work remotely from home, or any location with wifi, so my work has not been affected by this whatsoever.

My personal opinion is that there are more traffic fatalities than deaths from any virus, so with that in mind what are we supposed to do then, ban all cars and close all roads?  I'll continue to live my life without fear.  This is just my opinion and life, so if you have a different perspective, to each his own.

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Becoming the norm. Can’t go into the apartment complex to visit my mother; they are asked to stay in apartments and not leave. Fast food going to drive through only, some closing. Went to a convenience store and they requested using napkins/towels to fill fountain drinks. At least things are probably cleaner .

I expect to see more measures like this as the illness count increases.
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At the moment my home club remains open, but with increased precautions for staff and management, and suggested precautions for members.  Carts are available, but are being disinfected between uses, hand sanitizer is available throughout the facility.  I enjoy walking, and I'll continue to play that way.  Indoor social events have been cancelled or postponed, but the bar and restaurant are still open.  Based on everything I've read, this seems reasonable for now, but if additional restrictions or closures become appropriate, I'm OK with it.  Many of my golfing friends are in the "more at risk" age range, including myself, and I don't want golf to be at the root of someone's serious illness.  

18 minutes ago, Mr. 82 said:

My personal opinion is that there are more traffic fatalities than deaths from any virus, so with that in mind what are we supposed to do then, ban all cars and close all roads?  I'll continue to live my life without fear.  This is just my opinion and life, so if you have a different perspective, to each his own.

This is probably true, but this particular virus has to potential to overwhelm our health system.  Not saying it will, just that it could if it spreads too rapidly and too extensively.  Its done just that in Italy.  So if we (WE, as a group of individuals) need to inconvenience ourselves for a while to slow the spread, I'm OK with it.  As you said, we each have our own opinion.

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Supposed to play tomorrow with a group from work... we’ll see if it stands.

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Yes as long as my club is open. Will more than likely walk and carry rather than take a cart more for the exercise than fear of the virus. That being said the State of NY is pretty much closed so I assume that golf courses will start closing soon enough.


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As long as the courses in my area are open, I will play (when the rain stops... 😞 ). I will also probably walk - not going to gamble sharing a cart with strangers, but might ride if teeing it up with friends.

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25 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

This is probably true, but this particular virus has to potential to overwhelm our health system.  Not saying it will, just that it could if it spreads too rapidly and too extensively.  Its done just that in Italy.  So if we (WE, as a group of individuals) need to inconvenience ourselves for a while to slow the spread, I'm OK with it.  As you said, we each have our own opinion.

Agree here.  My wife is in the healthcare industry and while I don't see any reason to slow my normal activities, I am because I don't want to spread anything to those who might have more difficulty fighting it.  Another issue is that many could have it and it be unknown for up to 14 days or with symptoms so much like a common cold or flu, believe they have that.

Imagine the craziness that has ensued at the supermarkets hitting all of the hospitals.  There simply isn't the infrastructure in place to digest that.  Let alone healthcare professionals will also not be immune so there will be fewer who can help those that need it. 

I am far away from thinking this has any threat to myself or a majority of society over other illnesses or causes of death, but the contagious nature of this makes it a bit more concerning.

Sorry for the rant and back to question at hand.   I plan on playing golf in the coming weeks as weather allows.  I will be walking and not touching the flagstick.  I feel like golf has built in distancing so should have no issues.

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As long as the course remains open, I will play.  If the open air at a golf course is a risk factor, then we're really screwed because no air is safe.  That said, I'll play, likely ride (perhaps by self rather than share, but I play with known friends routinely and that has to be a consideration over unknown playing partners one hooks up with.  As far as the flag goes, I like it in but others prefer it out.  If I need to pull it, I'll use my gloved hand.  While I don't want to live in fear, I will take adequate precautions to prevent exposure to someone who might be contagious and monitor my own actions accordingly.  I don't see a need to panic, but this is a time where we need to exercise preventive measures to minimize the effects of the virus.  It will pass, but it will disrupt our usual routines for awhile.  Be safe out there!

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I'll play as long as the courses remain open. My wife's course was shut down as of today, mine is still usable.

I'll leave the flagstick in, walking, skipping beers after the round and keep distance from everybody else. Most probably just playing with my wife, so not too hard.

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I desperately want to but we don't have courses open still being winter and all.

Could maybe find a simulator that's open. 

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I am planning to continue to play, walk only, and play on my own.

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I've played a couple times and hit balls last night at the range.  The range is putting bleach in their ball washer which I found funny and helpful at the same time.  I will continue to play until told otherwise.  I will be smart about it and not go in the pro shop if at all possible.  My course is public amongst a bunch of houses and much of the membership is retired so I would expect the course to have less play?  It didn't look that way when I drove by it yesterday.

 

Will I pick up balls along the way that I find?  hhmmm...Only ProV's. 

 

Be safe, be smart, and think about the big picture.  I've stocked up so I should be good for awhile, and I have no plans to do anything but golf, work, buy gas, and tinker around the house. 

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3 hours ago, Mr. 82 said:

I don't plan on changing any of my activities or schedule.  I golfed both Saturday and Sunday, and will continue to do so.  I am hoping to visit TopGolf tonight.  I work remotely from home, or any location with wifi, so my work has not been affected by this whatsoever.

My personal opinion is that there are more traffic fatalities than deaths from any virus, so with that in mind what are we supposed to do then, ban all cars and close all roads?  I'll continue to live my life without fear.  This is just my opinion and life, so if you have a different perspective, to each his own.

Remains to be seen how many this virus kills. But traffic accidents probably won’t be analogous anyway as they’re spread out somewhat evenly over the course of years. Furthermore over 90% of traffic accidents are due to human error, at least during the first few weeks the virus infected thousands through no fault of their own. Covid-19 cases and deaths have grown exponentially and overwhelmed healthcare systems in the worst case countries so far - not so with traffic accidents. And there’s a difference between unwarranted fear and willful ignorance, to each his/her own.

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Absolutely I've played and will continue playing. We have no reported/known cases here. And if we did I'd still go play as long as the golf course doesn't freak out and close. 

I'm also buying the market like crazy. There's always an upside if you look for it. 🏌️‍♂️

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11 minutes ago, Middler said:

Remains to be seen how many this virus kills. But traffic accidents probably won’t be analogous anyway as they’re spread out somewhat evenly over the course of years. Furthermore over 90% of traffic accidents are due to human error, at least during the first few weeks the virus infected thousands through no fault of their own. Covid-19 cases and deaths have grown exponentially and overwhelmed healthcare systems in the worst case countries so far - not so with traffic accidents. And there’s a difference between unwarranted fear and willful ignorance, to each his/her own.

It was a hypothetical example and purely tongue in cheek to emphasize a point.

But as I was just texting my wife, we are isolating and quarantining ourselves to what end and for how long?  Based on where the economy seems to be headed, there may not be any life to come back to if we shut everything down just to avoid a virus.

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