ROANOKE, Va. – The sound of a ball being teed off...is becoming more common and louder these days.
“You’re outside, it’s ventilated. I think people need this right now. Everybody’s a little down and distressed. To get outside and get in the sunshine I think is very important,” said Jeff Sprinkel. He serves as the PGA General Manager at Botetourt Golf and Swim Club.
As the Coronavirus puts a red light on things, local golf courses have a green light-- still able to offer a sense of peace and tranquility that the game itself brings.
“We’ve actually seen people just excited to be out of home, out of confinement and out and about in a method that makes them feel safe,” said John Steffen, PGA General Manager at Blue Hills Golf Club in Roanoke.
Like many local courses, at Blue Hills Golf Club they have taken measures to better protect golfers. PVC pipe has been placed inside holes so balls can be retrieved easier, touching the flag sticks has been discouraged and there aren’t any rakes in bunkers.
“It’s incumbent on us as leaders in the golf community to think about those things and find ways to have the best practices going forward,” Steffen said.
The same measures have been taken at Botetourt Golf and Swim Club. Jeff Sprinkel says its all in an effort to provide a mental getaway from everything else happening.
“If you come out you’re staying away from everyone, you can walk and play golf or ride a cart and play golf,” Sprinkel said.
While they’ve had to close the tennis facility and a few other amenities, Roanoke Country Club has seen an increase in the number of golfers on daily basis, especially from the junior divisions.
“They’ve been here so it’s been great for their families, especially 12-14 year old kids, it’s been a great safe space for them to be out utilizing,” said PGA Director of Golf, Tim McAfee.
Providing an escape through greens and fairways and reminding us we can still put our best putt forward during these trying times.
“In a strange way it reminds people of how great a game we have at the golf course. I like to tell people anyways save some of that screen time and give me some green time,” Steffen said.