No question, so many businesses have been hurt by the coronavirus, yet others have flourished.  Companies that make masks, sanitizers, plastic partitions, and even outdoor tents and tables are seeing a huge demand for their products. When it comes to fitness, gyms have taken a hit, but online workout apps and home gym equipment have boomed.  You know what else has seen a surge? Golf. While COVID-19 has shut down many other recreational activities, especially indoors, players of all levels have flocked to golf courses.  

The National Golf Foundation and Golf Datatech released a report last week that said rounds played in August were up more than 20 percent over 2019. That’s over 10 million rounds -  the largest year to year monthly increase in 20 years, most likely due to the pandemic. Of course, with more than half the courses shut down in the spring, there was a 42 percent dip this past April vs. April of 2019. With wide-open spaces and health protocols in place,  golf is probably one of the safest sports we could play. It is a good way to get a little exercise and relieve some stress which we could all use right now,

If you are already a golfer, no one has to talk you into getting out on the links, but if you have never golfed or have not played in a while, there are a surprising amount of health benefits associated with golf. For starters, people who play golf can actually improve their brain health. The game requires the mind to be constantly alert and helps provide much needed human interaction during these trying times.

Golf is also very social.  While movies may depict golf clubs as being elitist, there are many around the country opening up to newer members regardless of skill and are willing to help them sharpen their playing ability in the process. In addition,  being outdoors for four hours or more helps curb stress as being cooped up indoors only increases it. Finally, it is estimated that you can burn up to 1,500 calories during a round of golf. This helps achieve any weight loss goals you want to accomplish in the process.

Courses across the country have implemented new protocols with the objective of keeping players and workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic, such as one person per cart. Most people believe it is one of the safest sports you can play due to the wide-open spaces. So pick up the clubs and get into the swing of things this fall.

As golf courses reopen around the country, golfers will be called upon to make minor adjustments. Here’s a 9-point checklist for getting back out safely without missing a step (or swing).