It’s National Golf Day 2020. I am going to out and play eighteen. Wait. I can’t. I live in Massachusetts, one of only three states where golf courses are still closed and have no scheduled date to re-open. I heard a rumor this morning that Governor Baker might be acting on that today, but as of lunch time the State House is still silent.
Maybe I’ll watch Golf Day on the National Mall in DC. Oops. Can’t do that either. It was cancelled in March. Golf enthusiasts gathered there last year and managed to set up 244 meetings with members of Congress to discuss the game’s $84.1 Billion impact on our economy. Apparently Charlie Baker didn’t get that memo. Neither did Larry Hogan in Maryland or Phil Scott up in Vermont.
The Impact of Not Playing Golf
We posted an article a few weeks ago with a petition for Governor Baker to open courses. We got over 40,000 signatures, but I also heard a lot of negativity from non-golfers. One guy called me a “rich, entitled whiner.” Nice try, pal. I was raised in South Boston. There’s nothing rich or entitled about the the D Street projects.
The game of golf provides over two million jobs at fifteen thousand diverse businesses across the United States. Charity golf tournaments raise $4 Billion annually. Add that to tax revenues on over eighty billion dollars in annual sales and not playing is affecting a whole lot more people than just us “rich and entitled” folks.
When will we play golf again?
There’s no actual date set yet, but the pressure here in Mass is mounting. Cara Cullen, a fourth generation owner of Wachusett Country Club and Kettle Brook Golf Club, has stated her intentions to open this week in defiance of the Governor’s order. I applaud her spirit, but I don’t see that as the right move.
One local golf course owner told me, “We’re so close. Cara is just going to fuck it up for all the rest of us.” I agree. The Governor’s closure order is in effect until May 18th. That’s twelve days away. Will he extend it? I can’t see how he could. Both hospitalization and fatality numbers from Covid-19 are going down.
The weather is getting warmer. The natives are restless. Be patient, Cara. Standing together is more important than getting your name in the paper. I’m not a fan of Governor Baker’s process either, but I’ll observe state guidelines until we can all play again. The Mass Golf Association has been meeting with the Governor’s office all week. Maybe National Golf Day will be our Independence Day …