Photo by Grady Narang '20
The average 18-hole golf course is 6,500 yards. That’s four miles of open land in the vicinity of practically every town in Fairfield County, let alone Connecticut. Golf courses attract millions of people who play the sport competitively, or those who just want to get out of the house on a weekend.
With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, millions of Americans have been advised to practice social distancing to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others. In Westport, our town officials have asked residents to stay home and have closed Compo Beach and a number of dog parks in effort to promote self isolation.
With nothing left to do, residents have been walking on sidewalks six feet apart from one another, and locked in their cars joylessly driving around. Nonetheless, Longshore golf course remains open to people who want to walk their dogs and ride their bikes along the course, even though no staff are present. Although people are allowed to idle around the course, golfers are not permitted to play due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
I believe golf courses, Longshore specifically, should stay open to the public as long as all CDC guidelines and recommendations of social distancing are followed, and as long as the course has eliminated all items in which players could come in contact.
Longshore has already taken steps to protect golfers from coming into contact with each other by removing all flag sticks and rakes from each hole. Players can pay for tee times online to minimize contact with employees, and every golfer should be required to bring their own equipment.
States like Oregon, Michigan and California have already taken initiative to keep golf courses open during this crisis with precautions and guidelines in place.
I am a senior on the Staples golf team, and will not be able to participate in my last season due to the crisis. I feel it is important to many people to keep golf courses open around Connecticut as it promotes healthy behavior and a great opportunity to be outside during this crisis.