TYCHKOWSKI: The bright side of new pandemic golf rules

作者:admin 2020-05-26

Thanks to golf, we all have another reason to get out and enjoy the warmth and sunshine before aliens and murder hornets chase us all inside for good.

Let’s face it, you can only go on so many walks, watching people dive into the hedges rather than pass you by on the same sidewalk, before it becomes just as boring as sitting on the couch watching reruns of the 2008 Brier.

Golf gives us a reason to get outside and be angry at something other than the pandemic, the economy, every summertime event being cancelled and the fact we will never be able to outrun the hornets on account of our lungs being so damaged by the virus.

But, as in life, there is a new normal on the golf course. No more high fiving after nice shots, no more exchanging money after skins games, no more raking bunkers, sharing carts or doing anything that brings people inside each other’s six-foot buffer zone.

It will take some adjusting, but fortunately I am an authority on the mechanics of social distancing — I was ducking around corners to avoid talking to my neighbours in grocery stores long before it was popular.

So here are some bright spots about pandemic golf rules:


We’ve been told not to rake the bunkers, which isn’t going to be a problem, since most people either didn’t know we were supposed to rake them in the first place or do it with all effort of a six year old moving lumpy mashed potatoes around his plate while trying to wait out his mother at dinner. Now we get to move it out of a footprint, right?


Now you don’t have to help look for somebody’s ball. With everyone milling around the same area while looking at the ground, the risk is too great that we’ll bump into each other. This is huge. No more foraging into the tangled, mosquito-filled woods to search for the sixth Pinnacle he’s wiped into the trees in the last eight holes.


The six-foot buffer zone needs to be extended to 12 feet on the golf course, where “speaking moistly,” the uncomfortably weird phrase coined by our Prime Minister (who always speaks like he’s reading poetry to a Grade 1 class) becomes an even greater threat. Trust me, anyone who catches one thin from just off the green and sends a ball screaming into an unraked bunker knows full well that the F-bomb spittle will be flying farther than the ball did.


Sharing a cart is good, it cuts costs and lets you talk $%!* about the other twosome between holes. But it’s a problem when you’re at the mercy of a bad cart driver. Bad cart drivers are people who fall into one of these categories:

Always goes to his ball first. Drives too slowly. Brakes too suddenly. Punches the gas when you’re taking a drink. Gets you slapped in the face with branches. Drives through puddles on your side. Pulls away before you’ve got your clubs in the bag. Packs the rear basket with his junk. Smokes. Turns sharply without notice. Brings a wireless speaker. Asks about the Oilers.

So riding alone isn’t the worst thing that can happen. Of course, you can still share a cart if you are from the same household, which is the least they can do for guys who have to golf with their wives.


Let’s be honest, you used to feel kind of guilty going in the bushes instead of waiting for the nearest washroom. Now it’s your social responsibility. Door handles are radioactive, so the best way to flatten the curve is to get back to nature. We’re like James Bond, but instead of 007 it’s 001 — a license to pee. (FYI: There is no such thing as 002).


At 10-feet away, it will be much easier to zone out when the boring story teller in the group starts talking about his trip to Phoenix, or what he took on this hole last week, or how much better the fairways are on his home course, or seeding his back lawn. With everyone standing 10 feet apart on opposite sides of the tee box, there’s no way he’ll be able to tell which of us isn’t paying attention.


Not being able to lean into a cart to check a scorecard opens the door for the the guys who like to fudge their numbers. You know the ones. They’re so used to shaving strokes they’re calling this COVID-16. But at least you’ll be far enough away that you won’t have to listen to them brag about their “score.”


We are now liberated from the unprepared guy, who shows up late and spends the entire round counting on you to be his babysitter.

Can I borrow some tees? Got an extra ball? Can you grab my putter? Got an extra pencil? Can I borrow your repair tool? Can I borrow a ball marker? Let me try that driver.

Now, thanks to physical distancing, the answer is no no, no, no, no, no and no. Not because I’m tired of babysitting and don’t want you messing with my stuff, but because Dr. Hinshaw said so.

Follow me on twitter.com/rob_tychkowski


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