This isn’t a blog about anything other than golf. Let’s keep that in mind as we’re reading this. It has a singular purpose: to talk about golf during this challenging time in our world’s history. I know there are bigger issues surrounding what is going on and I’m not smart enough to know much about any of it. I do know that the past few months have altered my life in ways I didn’t think were imaginable six months ago. And there are millions of others out there right now who are just like me. Of course, I’m talking about COVID-19.

Sunset over Chapman, Kansas.

It can’t be understated how traumatic the past few months have been. The death tolls continue to rise and it’s easy to forget (or ignore) that each of those numbers on the death chart was a person. It was a father, mother, brother, sister, a husband, a wife, a child… I’ve been lucky and blessed enough that this disease hasn’t impacted my family that directly, at least up to this point, like it has for millions across the world. I hope and pray that it doesn’t. Prayer, along with following the guidelines set forth by various government entities, is about all we can do at this point.

This disease has changed our lives. Some of those changes are more permanent than others, but they are changes nonetheless. This post is all about my experience over the past two months of this new world we find ourselves in today.

Thinking back on March when the shutdowns and anxiety over this all hit, it seems like it was a lifetime ago. And it all seemed like it happened so fast. I was at work like normal and then all of the sudden, I just wasn’t anymore. Weird to think about.

Should be obvious, but I’m behind the camera on this one…

I’ve been working from home for almost two months now but honestly, there hasn’t been that much to do. At least, compared to what it should have been like during a normal year. Through all of this, I found out that I get a lot of my self-worth from my work. I’m proud of what I do and how I do it. And not being able to do those things makes it feel like a piece of myself is missing.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I guess there has been some “good” come out of all this. For one, I’ve had more free time on my hands. Can’t say I’ve always used that time as wisely or as prudent as I should have, but seems like everyday now affords some time that I can use for my own mental well-being by doing something that makes me happy. Thankfully, a good portion of those days have included playing golf and I’m grateful that myself and you other addicts out there still had access to the game during this time of strife. Strange to say this, but I think this dumb game has been a portion of what has “saved” me during all this. My wife and boys did a great job of saving me too but you get my point.

THIS one’s me. Some say that’s my best side…

At the end of this year, I’ll look back on the scorecards and remember the rounds, both good and bad, I spent playing this stupid game during these unprecedented few weeks in the spring of 2020. I’ll remember the faces of those who joined me (six feet away from each other of course) and how their laughs and conversation helped take my mind off what was happening in the world and in my own life, even if it was for only a few hours. I’ll remember the weird protocols and rules we played under during the outbreak: the pool noodles or PVC pipe wrapped around the flag stick we longer take out of the cup; cups raised or turned upside down to keep the ball from rolling in; no post round handshakes; anything within four feet is good, no need to put your hand in the cup and risk catching something. Almost forgot my personal favorite: no rakes for the bunkers. I hope to never see a rake on a golf course again. Good riddance.

I’m not an emotional guy and don’t talk about my feelings with others. I know that annoys my wife at times. I can’t help it. Just not comfortable letting people that far “in.” Maybe that would change with some professional therapy, but I don’t see that happening because I use this dumb game as my therapy now. It’s a chance to get out of my basement office, get some fresh air, see some faces, and get some new perspective on the world we now find ourselves in.

So thankful for this type of therapy.

I don’t know what the future holds or how all of the pandemic stuff will shake out. Remember, I’m not smart enough to figure all that out. I do know that through all of this change and turmoil in my life, this game, the places it’s played, and the people I’ve played it with, have impacted me so positively.

This really is a stupid game. Easy to say that in light of everything happening in the world right now. The outbreak has had a way of putting things in perspective. In the grand scheme of things, golf is so very unimportant it is hard for an addict like me to comprehend. It’s just a dumb game.

And I’m sure thankful for this stupid game in times like this.

We’re glad you’re here…

– tMP

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