The golf mailbag is back this week with a question for golfers who have been out playing for nearly a month now after courses were allowed to open by executive order with safety precautions enacted to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Here's what I asked of my Twitter followers, along with their answers:
From your experience so far this golf season, are those physical-distancing measures being followed here nearly a month in and have they affected your enjoyment of the game?
"Played a few times Z -- safety measures in place. More people enjoying the game: perhaps coming back to it + maybe trying it the first time. Faster pace, rounds quicker, have to tell stories quicker :) Only thing missing is post-round chat up, but it’s great to be out on the course." – @MinnesotaMunn
"Agree with @MinnesotaMunn. Everyone understands the benefit of being able to golf and not wanting to put that at risk. Although I'm convinced a few putts came out because of the social distancing noodles in the cups (at least that's what I'm telling myself.)" -- @JosephRDelgado
"Still having great fun. It seems they could lower the Styrofoam in the cups and you could pick the ball out with your hand or dig it out with your putter. I am concerned about charity golf events (I run such an event.) What can we do about the cart situation?" -- @groover1975
"Seems to be an inverse relationship between age and following the guidelines. I've played a few times on the east side of the metro and the west. The older the golfer, the less social distancing. Most of the younger golfers (20-50) seem to be following." -- @nickfranzen
"Island Lake moved their range tees up so we can't hit drivers; that's my worst club, so this is a blessing." -- @dwj1965
"I’m a member at Dellwood CC & we all seem to be playing a lot, the tee sheets remain full & it appears to me the rules are being followed. It certainly hasn’t affected anyone I know in terms of how we view the game." – @rdunn5
Meanwhile, the PGA Tour’s 3M Open continues to prepare for its July tournament with plans ready both with and without spectators.
Locally, while competitive golf here waits to see if Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home extension order expires Monday, recreational golfers play on at public and private courses modified with those safety measures.
The current order forbids course-organized competition for now.
The Minnesota Golf Association and the PGA of America’s Minnesota section canceled tournaments throughout April and May. The PGA Minnesota section’s first event in its Senior Open June 2-3 at Keller golf course. The MGA’s first event now is its women’s match play June 16-19 at the Wilds in Prior Lake. The Public Golf Association’s Mid and Net Public Links are June 13-14 at Valleywood in Apple Valley.