Your Stories: Golf provides escape from stress of life in Bay Area

Haggin Oaks GC in Sacramento

In the first of a new series, a reader describes his 80-minute commute to play golf outside San Francisco during Coronavirus pandemic

Throughout this difficult period, this Golf News Hub will explore what it’s like to actually live through this moment. Here we will print your stories about how this is affecting you, your family, your friends … your daily life. Email us your story.

Here is the first essay in our series.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. All of the golf courses in the area are closed except Haggin Oaks in Sacramento. For the past two weeks I have been driving to Haggin Oak -- a one hour and twenty-minute drive each way -- to play golf.

Haggin Oaks (pictured above) is working with the local health authorities to ensure a healthy and safe golf environment. Tee times are scheduled online or over the phone. On arrival, only one person at a time is allowed in the pro shop to pay by credit card. One person per cart -- and the cart is sanitized prior to use. Walking is highly encouraged. All ball washers are wrapped in plastic and not to be used. No rakes in the bunker to prevent spread of germs. The cups are raised. Once your ball hits the cup the putt is considered holed. Maintain a minimum of 6-feet distance from all golfers.

The opportunity to play safe golf has been a genuine blessing during these stressful Coronavirus times. The Haggin Oaks model makes sense and I’d like to see a movement by the stakeholders in golf to encourage more golf courses to follow suit so that all golfers may enjoy the benefits of golf during the pandemic. Golf should be considered essential. We are allowed to walk for exercise, why can’t we be allowed to play golf?

Spread the word. Be safe. Wash your hands, social distance, don’t spread the virus—enjoy golf and being outdoors!

Bill Smith
Walnut Creek, CA

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As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, Golf News Hub is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public departments.