Our great game has many analogies to life itself. During the
past three months while the COVID-19 crisis led to comprehensive changes to
everyday routines, it seems many Texans found this sentiment truer than ever.
It was golf’s greatest amateur, Bobby Jones, who said, “You
have to play the ball where it lies.” Indeed, a good number of TGA Members said
getting outside to play “touchless” golf – putting with flagstick in, raised
cups, no bunker rakes, etc. – was a welcome break from their social isolation
and helped them to find some sense of normalcy in uncertain times.
An overwhelming 74 percent of more than 1,000 respondents
to a recent TGA survey said they continued to play golf when lockdown measures
eased, as their local course or club opened for business. It makes sense for at
least a couple reasons. First, we know TGA Members love to play golf. Also,
according to the National Golf Foundation, Texas had more open courses coming
out of the lockdown than any other state in the country. Nearly 70 percent of
Texas golf courses were open compared to the national average of 48 percent.
Of course, Texas golfers were required to play with the
necessary safety protocols implemented by their clubs and local health
officials, including wearing masks in clubhouses, forgoing warm-up time on driving
ranges and putting greens and keeping social distances.
For those whose home courses were not yet open for
business, survey respondents said they got creative with ways to stay connected
to the game. Some of the most popular means included practicing in their
backyard, using an indoor putting mat, watching the Golf Channel and reading
online golf content.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey.
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