We are often told that a week is a long time in politics. Certainly the last three months has been a very long time in the world of golf.
At the end of 2019, golfers everywhere would be considering any number of seemingly important annual issues.
What condition will my course be in this season ?
What do I need to focus on to lower my handicap ?
Is this my year to win a club trophy ?
Will I finally achieve a hole in one ?
Who will win the Majors ?
Will Rory finally secure a Green Jacket ?
Will Koepka simply overpower every course he competes on ?
Can de Chambeau possibly get any more annoying ?
Just how many times can P.Reed get away with his “ questionable “ behaviour ?
Very soon we will officially be into Spring with the clocks going forward and……………….???
We are now in lockdown, self isolating and social distancing. Bars and restaurants closed, clubhouses closed, all sport suspended,Olympics postponed, The Masters postponed and in the last couple of days all Scottish golf courses closed.
All very disappointing but any negative feelings have to be seen against the tragedy of so many lives being lost, so many suffering days and weeks in ICU wards and recognising the incredible efforts from all our doctors, nurses and support staff of our N.H.S. facing horrendous challenges and decisions on a daily basis.
The new reality is that we are heading into a golf season unlike any other at a local level. Every club is going to require every member to provide support as best as possible. This will certainly mean paying your annual subscription in the full knowledge you are very likely to play a limited number of rounds this season. If we want to get through this most difficult of times and look forward to resuming our favourite pastime then this is exactly what we need to be doing.
The clubhouse may be closed, eliminating any additional income from food and beverage or any club or private functions but the overheads don’t suddenly disappear. Clubhouse staff, greenkeeping staff, PGA professionals all need to be looked after.
New plan for season now looks like this.
Observe all government and medical advice. Stay safe. If infected, get well. Work on fitness.
Be patient and wait for clubs and courses to re-open at the correct time.
Get back to playing, bring some guests to the club ( potential new members preferred ). Treat yourself to some new clubs, bag, golf shoes, clothing etc from your club Pro. Book a lesson with the Pro.
Spend your bar credit card. Top it up and spend it again. Take the family/ friends for lunch or dinner at your clubhouse. Support any benefit days for key people in the club.
There is a strong possibility we won’t be heading abroad on our holidays this year; why not stay in Scotland, pack a half set and take the chance to play and support a couple of clubs in another region. You will be warmly welcomed.
A final thought. Already some clubs are proposing to use one of their medals to fundraise for NHS. I suspect every club in the country will have members or relations of members who have required intensive treatment during this dreadful period. Definitely think all golfers would want to show their appreciation in some direct way; our NHS teams definitely deserve it.