This time of year I love to hike, ride bikes and golf. Of the three, golf is my release. Governor Ducey understands the importance of golf . Monday, the Governor signed Executive Order 2020-12 prohibiting the closure of essential services. In the order, golf courses are included under the outdoor recreation activities, that within social distancing regulations, can stay open.
No big deal, right? Well, not so fast. On Tuesday, mayors from five cities in Arizona, including Tucson and Flagstaff said that the Governor was wrong for including golf courses as “essential services” that cannot be shutdown due to COVID-19.
I’m not great at golf, but I know the mental and physical benefits of the game. I played last Friday afternoon after a hard week of mental gymnastics from the economy, the virus and the usual pressures of life. In order for me to play at this course, I drove out with my wife, got out of the car with our bags, loaded them onto a cart that had been disinfected by the Troon staff , we drove up to the starter and were distanced by more than 10 feet. He told us our tee time and we went out to the course. It was a cool overcast afternoon, but it was awesome to chase the little white pill. We didn’t come within a few hundred yards of anyone on the course. When we finished our round we carried our bags out to car and drove home. I was fresh and ready to get back into work mode after taking a four-hour break. We didn’t come close to being in contact with anybody!
As much as I like hiking, the trails are packed with people right now. Social distancing is not easy around the regional parks that we live next to. Same goes for riding our bikes, but we can do that in neighborhood without much of a problem.
Look, if you’re not a golfer, you’re not going to agree with me. Maybe that is the story with these mayors. Golf is a vital part of the Arizona economy. While I’m writing this, I had a GM at one prominent course text me that he layed off 24 people today.
I think there are bigger fish to fry during a pandemic than a group of mayors going after the Governor over golf. Not many sports can check the boxes of being outdoors, social distance, and can clear the mind. Good for the Governor!