Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Golf: Perfect for Social Distancing


Even as the pandemic has shuttered restaurants, bars and gyms, many golf courses around the country managed to stay open, albeit with some precautions in place to promote social distancing, from sanitizing carts to leaving flag sticks in the holes.

Proponents believed golf could provide a safe outlet for the stir crazy, some fresh air and exercise, perhaps even a dose of normalcy, according to an article in The Christian Science Monitor.

 "None of the general public is good enough to hit it within six feet of each other," said Troy Andrew, executive director of the Washington Golf Association. 

Well, there is that. 

Sand Creek Station, Newton

However, some golf carts are bossy and remind players to wear masks and practice social distancing, the new buzzwords for 2020. 

Lake Shawnee Golf Course, Topeka

Our journey home from South Dakota provided a new course for Randy to try out. The Wild Horse Golf Club at Gothenburg, Nebraska, has won some national awards. (I guess that's what these subscriptions to golf magazines get me: A chance to ride along on award-winning courses.)

Golf Digest in 2015 named Wild Horse the 77th Best American Public Course. It's kind of stuck in the middle of a pasture, so we felt right at home.

Since Randy's tee time was later in the day, we had to wait a little bit so that personnel could do that sanitation. Of course, I wandered in the flower beds and took photos while Randy went to the driving range.

The front porch gave me a preview vista before we ever got started.

Randy was paired with a Wild Horse member, Dr. Jay.


We often meet interesting people this way, and this course was no exception. Having a person intimately acquainted with the course was kind of like Randy having his own personal caddy who could tell him where to aim and pitfalls to avoid.

This was Dr. Jay's house. (He didn't run in for a drink of water or anything.) 

Kind of like those ads that crop up on Facebook after you've Googled "Case engine parts," it's kind of creepy that the golf cart (and the club house) know where you are. 

And if you're lollygagging behind for some reason and you're not fitting into the "rate of play" parameters, you may get a visit from the course manager. Dr. Jay said so. (The timetable was right on the windshield.) Thankfully, we escaped without a reprimand.


Even though the course really was pared out of a pasture, the fairways and greens are perfectly manicured.

My favorite time on the course was as the sun was going down. That provided the best photo ops.

The Nebraska golf outing was certainly not the first foray onto a golf course during the pandemic. The Stafford County Country Club's 9-hole course is our normal golf destination. And we've taken full advantage of that membership this spring and summer - Randy to golf and me to read my latest book and hope for bird photos.

May 2019

I've read a lot of good books, but I didn't get anything to rival my Eastern bluebird photo from last year.

First Pandemic Golf Outing, April 6, 2020, Stafford Country Club

On April 23, I did capture a faint photo of a rainbow at the Stafford course.

But we've also traveled to some other golf courses in the area if we had a break from farm work due to weather or life circumstances.

Those included the Sterling Golf Course on May 6.

Lyons Country Club on May 22 (below):

A pretty sky at the Stafford course, June 23 (after a rain and wind storm interrupted wheat harvest):

 The Cherry Oaks Golf Course in Cheney, July 24:

Enterprising entrepreneurs had a refreshment stand in their grandparents' yard on the back 9 of the Cheney course. We weren't the only ones who stopped.

Sand Creek Station, Newton, July 28. (Just 4 days after Cheney: Can you tell it rained a bunch that week?)

We about didn't make it through the course without a downpour. I missed getting a photo of the iconic red caboose on the Sand Creek course because of the rain.

We visited the Lake Shawnee Golf Course in Topeka on July 31 (Just 2 days after the Newton excursion ... again, rain keeping us out of the field, not laziness. Plus a trip to Topeka includes a side benefit of seeing the granddaughters.)

 And here we were, back at our home course, on August 21. (I haven't included all the Stafford golf outings here.)

And just a reminder about what I really do during these golf outings ... besides take photos, of course.

We won't be on a golf course today. Dr. Bruce, our vet, is coming to preg-check our 25 heifers. And it's a little too chilly for a golf outing anyway. We'll see if there are any other golf dates in our fall agenda. We have quite a few days of cattle work ahead, so it's not likely. 

But, as I told Randy earlier this summer, I'm glad he took up golf several years ago. As for me, I agree with Mark Twain, "Golf is a good walk spoiled." But I'm glad to be along for the ride during a pandemic.


  1. Wonderful that Randy has found golf as his means of relaxation.

    1. We've both enjoyed our outings this year. Our weather is turning, so I'm afraid they will be few and far between now.