Golf Innovation in the Face of Adversity
These are worrying, anxious times for us all. It's understandable if you are feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the coronavirus crisis, the impact that it's having on daily life, the economy, and families across the world. For many of us, golf is a relief from that stress, a welcome distraction from an endless stream of depressing headlines.
Golf courses across continental Europe have been or are recommended to be closed - including in Spain, Germany, and Italy, but at present, despite numerous clubhouse closures and a winding down of regular operations for venues, most courses across the UK remain accessible.
However, you may be concerned about minimising risk for yourself and playing partners, and there are clear recommendations, as outlined in Stay Safe, But Keep Playing Golf For Now, which include maintaining distance (around two metres) from others, no handshakes, and not touching the pin when putting on the green - something made easier by the rule change last year by the R&A and USGA.
You may still have pause to reflect on retrieving your ball from the ball, considering the golfers who have come through before, but several clubs and their greenkeepers have introduced simple but effective solutions.
Take a look at what has been done at St Annes Old Links just by removing and turning the hole cup upside down.
Bolton Old Links has done exactly the same.
Proactive measures being taken. Hole cup is inserted upside down, removing the need to put hand down into the hole to retrieve ball. Leave pin in pic.twitter.com/gtLy8TxzXf— Bolton Old Links Greens (@BOLGC_Greens) March 18, 2020
And here is a little bit of ingenuity suggested by Conor Fallon.
These are all wonderfully innovative, but can't guarantee a removal of contact points. Going a step further, Richter Park GC in Connecticut has raised cups above the surface, meaning that you don't have to touch anything. Just hit the cup and move onto the next hole. Something that may just improve your putting stats!
In an effort to keep our customers safe but also provide a recreational outlet we have raised all the cups 1” above the surface @RichterParkGC Putt till you hit the cup and then pick up ball and move on, no need to touch the flagstick. @MayorMark pic.twitter.com/L7xGNhaUhi— Robert Dorsch (@RichterSupt) March 17, 2020
Other clubs have done similar, raising cups, flipping them round, and taking away rakes from bunkers, reducing the risk of spreading or contracting the virus from contaminated viruses on the golf course.
We are trying something a little different today:— David Dore-Smith (@Copperleafmaint) March 18, 2020
“Please do no touch or remove the putting green flag during today’s golf round - thank you” pic.twitter.com/dPBSM5qLu3
On Golfshake, we encourage our golfers to Play More & Play Better, and thanks to innovations like the ones above, many courses across our panicked world are making that possible in the most difficult circumstances.
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)