Golf courses adapt, stay busy through pandemic

Golf in the pandemic
Posted at 10:36 AM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 21:27:21-04

HOBART (NBC 26) -- Local golf courses have been busy this summer as people look for ways to get outside and spend some time with friends in a safe environment.

“It has given the public a chance to get out here and they’re taking full advantage," Thornberry Creek at Oneida's Chelsea Kocken said. "We have very busy tee sheets most days.”

As the pandemic developed, courses like Thornberry were able to adapt some practices to keep golfers safe. Flagsticks now stay in the cup, where there is also foam at the bottom. Social distancing is encouraged, and masks are worn in the clubhouse. Those protocols have allowed golfers to get out.

“I think very early on the idea that golf can be a safe activity came about in the community," Kocken said.

The result is a chance for golfers to do something they love and have some sense of normalcy in a summer that has been different for everybody.

“Maybe it’s a work meeting that they’re taking away from a Zoom call or meeting up with friends where everyone is comfortable," Kocken said. "So it’s bringing that sense of normal to people.”

A busy tee sheet has been good for Thornberry. Many outings and weddings had to be cancelled. The hope now is the weather will cooperate a little while longer to help make up for some of those losses.