Normally, the Canadian golf industry would be grinning about the pent-up enthusiasm for the game exhibited by golfers over a long winter, but try to find anybody anywhere who thinks 2020 is a normal year.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused most people to desert the streets, with the exception of essential service people and those who apparently don’t concern themselves with the consequences of a deadly bug that scientists are still trying to figure out.
Apparently, these loose cannons think they know better, but haven’t stepped to the plate to lend their expertise to society during the current global threat. The foolhardy – or just plain foolish, if you prefer – are instead playing on golf courses that are closed.
Among the foolhardy – or just plain foolish, if you prefer – are golfers who, in many cases, wouldn’t even be teeing it up this early, but a group of 25 was dispersed by police in London, Ont, last week after deciding to play a muni that was closed.
You can read more about that here.
It didn’t stop there as three people each face $750 fines for playing the Chedoke Golf Course in Hamilton, which was also closed. That story is here.
The Cedar Hill Golf Course in Victoria has also been closed due to the pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped up to 60 people a day from using it without authorization and being defiant with staff members when confronted. Let’s hope any run-ins between staff and intruders don’t end up like this one did.
According to manager Carole Ireland, these invaders are not only seeking free golf, but also play soccer, baseball and other games and it’s damaging the course when there are plenty of parks nearby.
In a normal year, this would be called trespassing, but it now goes beyond that since it seems unlikely these people were standing six feet from one another, or taking any other preventative measures with the golf course closed and without supervision.
That story is here.
The Victoria Golf Club remains closed as well, but that didn’t stop an 18-year-old man from riding his bike into a sand trap and injuring his back – in the dark. You can read more here.
Golf course closed to all traffic – Covid-19 update pic.twitter.com/En81RJLVsN
— Smiths Falls Golf Club ???????? (@SmithsFallsGolf) April 6, 2020
With all of the headaches that have gone along with this pandemic such as mandates for golf courses to shut down, layoffs, etc., those who won’t accept a closed sign on a spring day or feel they don’t need to take precautions or follow social distancing guidelines are piling on with their disregard for themselves, other people, emergency measures in this pandemic, or a combination of all three.
I’ve also heard a couple of stories about visible signs of forced entry being discovered, one assumes because there is less activity around golf operations than usual, but they were unsuccessful at getting in.
Whether you believe golf courses should be open with proper precautions against coronavirus or not, these are cases of people taking advantage of a bad situation and possibly doing damage to greens and other areas of the golf course that many superintendents, still on the job, are trying to maintain.
We’re only a few weeks into this pandemic and it’s anybody’s guess how long it lasts. As a matter of fact, that’s the current question in this week’s GNN Poll and a strong majority of respondents in the early going believe it will last beyond June.
If people believe they can just tee it up whenever they feel like it now, what will happen if they’ve been without golf for three months and it’s sunny and 25 C?
This is a building trend. With the cases that we’ve seen in the past week, it could just be the beginning.
Lockdown is what they’re calling our current state of isolation meant to prevent us from being infected. Locked up is the fate that should await those who don’t care about such things and take advantage of a bad situation.