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!