COVID-19 Golf Solutions

I applaud entrepreneurs who are thinking of ways to overcome the challenges golfers face during this current pandemic. One of the greatest concerns is the handling of the flagstick on every hole. Obviously, as a golfer I do not want to touch the flagstick at all and require a solution for removing my ball from the hole. What is a golfer to do?

The solution for this problem already has multiple recommendations. The one that seems the most popular comes our of Georgia, USA. It is a low tech solution that offers the chance to putt out. There are several other similar solutions out there and I expect even more to occur as the entrepreneurial spirit tries to cash in on the niche (limited window) opportunity. I wish them luck.

However, after giving it some thought and looking at the possible solutions, my preference was presented by the Jeff Rogerson, GM, at my local golf course of Osprey Links. Jeff’s solutions is follows, “…when we open if COVID-19 restrictions are still on it will be raised cup with one foot marked circle. You’re In the circle, you’re holed out. Pick up and go!”

Before everyone starts to go crazy about Jeff’s solution, lets focus on the main issue of avoiding contact with the flag stick and hole at any time. This one foot margin is brilliant, low tech and costs basically nothing to implement. Additionally, these flagstick handling restrictions will likely be in place for a short period of time; so Jeff’s sensible solution makes complete sense to me.

For those wondering about how this will affect their handicap (and there is likely only a few of you out there), it does not matter. This is one of those issues that causes armchair golfers to scurry down the rabbit hole and get worked up about a non-issue. Sure it will lower our score for a bit, which is good for our ego, but once things go back to normal, our handicap will right itself very quickly. So, those worrying about handicaps, I suggest you move on to something more important.

Jeff’s solution works perfectly for me. I think it offers a great solution to a barrier of opening the golf course sooner than later. As it is, I expect mid-May will be earliest we can hit the links and a raised cup with a foot grace area gets me golfing sooner, then I say giddy-up!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

8 thoughts on “COVID-19 Golf Solutions

  1. Jim, your course’s solution is the simplest and most cost effective. I like the realistic possibilities of the Georgia retrieval model but my concern would be durability. Has that thing been stress tested? Could get up to 1,000 uses per week. Would the plastic hold up?

    At this point, anything that gets you out swinging the sticks is good. I played a simulated 18 on the range this weekend. When I asked for a scorecard, the guy at the course told me they stopped using cards and pencils. Basically anything that you need to touch. Tis the new reality.

    Thanks,

    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

      • Jim, the guy told me to “download the app” in order to keep score. I was thinking that I deliberately like to leave my phone in the bag when I play but such is life. No worries, I kept score in my head. Shot a 3-over 73 with 5 bogeys and two birds!

        Brian

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim

    Here in Australia, we are using a cut piece of a pool noodle inside the hole that wraps around the flag. It allows for you to fully make your putt then easily retrieve without touching the flag. I was skeptical at first, however it does work well and achieves the objective of finishing putts without touching flag.

    Aussie engineering at its finest…

    Kirk

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I promise you, if you have to hit the raised cup with your putt AND have the ball stay inside the white circle afterwards, you won’t have to worry about it being too easy. That comes from being about to smash it into the side of a raised hole not caring how far it bounces which saves you from worrying about speed control and breaks. I’ve seen it played that way and done it myself. But that is too easy. The white circle is a great idea. I’m going to add it to my game. Even without the white circle, by using my putters grip length to determine if I get to say I dropped it or not from now on when playing with a raised cup I can add a bit more complexity to the putt and make playing to a raised cup more realistic.

    Liked by 1 person

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