Over the past several months, the game of golf has continued to be one of the only sports we can continue to safely enjoy. Although the nature of the game makes it ideal for social distancing and maintaining a certain level of isolation on the course, there are many things golfers should consider before heading out on the links. Here’s a list of my top tips for golfing during COVID-19.
Do Your Research
First and foremost, golfers should do their research to see what precautions facilities are taking to help keep everyone safe and healthy. For example, Wolfdancer Golf Club has updated procedures to install plexiglass barriers at the pro shop’s service counters for a contact-free check-in process, increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of all rental clubs and carts and made certain adaptations to the course experience in order to minimize contact.
Consider Additional Precautions
Players should consider bringing their own pencils and paper for keeping score or using a scoring app on their smartphone. It’s also important to keep your group small and observe social distancing practices during the game. Check with the pro shop to ensure they are spacing out tee times so that multiple groups do not overlap in play.
Start on the Driving Range
If you’re new to the game of golf or haven’t played in a while, try starting out by visiting a driving range. The range is a perfect place to get a feel for hitting the ball and fine-tuning your swing. It also provides a fun activity to get the family involved in learning the basics of the game.
When you’re ready to get on the course, an abbreviated round of 9-holes may be best so you can familiarize yourself with the course. It’s also a good idea to call the clubhouse and talk to a pro who can give you some tips and a sense of what you can expect during the experience.
Retrain Your Flexibility
One of the most important things that can help your swing is flexibility. Regardless of your skill or experience level, try doing yoga or stretching every day while focusing on the areas of your back, shoulders, and hips. This will help to train your muscles and ensure that you’re ready for getting back on the course.
Practice at Home
If you’re not able to get out to the course, you can find several ways to practice your skills at home. One of my favorite things to do is to set up a mini putting course in my living room by placing plastic cups on the ground. This mini in-home putting course can also be a fun and interactive activity for the entire family while helping to better your short game.
Most Importantly, Have Fun!
Speaking from experience, it can be difficult to not get caught up in trying to play your best, but right now it’s important to go easy on yourself. Take a moment to enjoy the beautiful nature that surrounds the course, get some fresh air, and enjoy the experience.
Jason Boydston is the head golf professional at Wolfdancer Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa. With more than 12 years working in the industry, Boydston has worked at golf courses throughout Texas. When he’s not on the course, Jason enjoys spending time with his family, which includes his wife, two boys, and two dogs.