Late last week, I was heartened that my golf course standby in Hartford, CT, Keney Park, was doing all the right things to stay open and safe for its customers. These included online payment to avoid the need to go in the pro shop, extra-sanitizing of golf carts while encouraging people to walk, and inverting the golf cups to sit above the green to keep hands out of the cups and off the flagsticks.
It all became pretty much moot on Friday when the Governor declared that, at 8 pm on Monday, all “non-essential” businesses would be closed. After an appeal by the state golf association for an exemption, and emails to the Governor’s office from golfers like me, all courses that had remained open were forced to close.
Last week in the state, temperatures were in the 40s and 50s with one day in the 60s. The mild winter had been good to the turf and golfers, sensing that a drought was ahead – i.e. opportunity to play might dry up for months – crowded golf courses. In New Jersey, according to a New York Times article, play was up 300% in the first 19 days of March in Somerset County. Those courses have also been shut down for now.
Call it divine coincidence but on Monday, the day Connecticut's Governor Ned Lamont decreed all golf courses and other non-essential business be closed at 8 pm, it began alternately snowing and raining in Hartford at noon, covering the course with about four inches of white stuff.
It stopped snowing at 8 pm. The course would not be playable for at least another two weeks anyway.
Stay safe everyone.