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Give us links or give us death, some golfers harrumph

The Herald reports Gov. Baker isn't going to let golfers cut to the head of the re-opening line, and some golfers are so mad they might go rogue and start golfing anyway.

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Comments

So it’s okay for me to go in Walmart and handle 10-12 tomatoes with nearby shoppers, of who 25-30% weren’t masked today. yet can’t play golf for some insane reason.

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That's a nice straw man you've made there.

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No it's not.

It's a comparison of the risk of a banned activity with a commonplace accepted activity.

Golf is banned because it's considered risky. A comparison of its risk with other activities is a perfectly valid argument.

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Activity 1: Grocery shopping. Because food is necessary in order to avoid starving to death.
Activity 2: Golfing. Because playing golf is necessary in order to avoid ______ing to death.

Please fill in the blank.

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i almost forgot i need to go buy some golf balls for my daughter to eat

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Anon set up a scenario that no one ever said was ok, claimed it was, then used it as basis for comparison for golf. Please learn what a straw man argument is and why it is lazy and deceptive.

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The supermarket is a nessecity, golf is a recreational hobby.

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How is golfing not social distancing? A game played in a giant outdoor park far away from other people.

Governor Baker needs to get his head out of his ass over petty and arbitrary closures that don't matter in terms of public health before people start ignoring order closures which do matter to the detriment of the commonwealth.

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Voting closed 43

Clubhouse activities?

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Other states (FL for one) have pulled this off with implementing new rules.Stick stays in cup, no raking traps, 1 person per cart. No clubhouse. It can be done very easily.

I don't even golf.

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Back when my local golf course closed people kept right on golfing, and I could tell because there was a crowd of about twenty golfers all congregated at the final hole, drinking beers they'd illegally brought onto the property and shooting the breeze.

If we're not going to allow poor black people to shoot hoops, I don't see why we're allowing white rich people to play golf.

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Someone forgot his legally requried mask!
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Vote Republican again.

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I think Baker is doing the right thing by keeping the standards of protocol equitable for all people. In case you have not noticed, the virus has hit communities of color and urban areas much harder than others. So, in my opinion, he is doing the right thing by trying to everyone safe and holding all residents accountable for one another's safety. Instead of kowtowing to the noise of the minority and powerful for a good walk spoiled (yes folks, institutional racism IS real), he is advocating for the health of all residents of the Commonwealth. To me it has been the embodiment of leadership.

Now, think of the optics where Baker says "Sure, go ahead all you middle aged, upper middle class and wealthy white guys, go play golf. But I'm going to keep our urban areas locked down because a majority of the front-line workers who take care of the most vulnerable in a nursing home/hospital/grocery store don't earn enough to live in your town XXXX." It's not a good look. Nevermind the fact that it was the upper middle class or AWCs (Affluent White Communities) that seemingly launched the spread of COVID19 here in MA. Baker might change his mind, but I really hope he does not.

And if you want another reason, when you go golfing you need to drive your car. You might need gas. There's one stop where you might spread/catch the virus. Maybe you need to pick up a couple of "pops" for your time on the course. That is a second stop where you are vulnerable. And then pick up dinner on the way home, a third stop. Now, multiple that by 72 (18 holes x 4 golfers) x 10 hours (only one group per hour, which is not the norm) = 720 people playing golf. Then multiply 720 x 376 (# of courses in MA) = 270,720 opportunities to increase the spread (and this is with no stops mind you, not three) in one day. That is 1,895,040 MILLION extra opportunities per week to spread the virus. In comparison with ZERO right now. ZERO.

It's pretty disappointing that people just can't suck it up and make a sacrifice for two months (it hasn't even been two months yet!) without starting to whine about the "hardships" of life. Now go practice your putting in the basement because we all know you three-putt anyway.

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This commentary completely misses the point and is wrong in many ways.

There are two golf courses within the city of Boston. I live near one that is within walking distance to H block, so don't tell me golf is only accessible to "upper middle class and wealthy white guys." I could literally walk up the hill to it with a bag of clubs on my back.

The point is that the whole episode we are living through (sheltering in place) was meant to keep the medical system from becoming over-stressed to the point of breaking while we could build capacity and prepare. We have achieved that end. Once that is accomplished we must begin the process of opening the economy in rational ways while continuing to practice social distancing to the best degree possible to avoid a large spike that would begin to over stress the medical system.

The fact is until there is a vaccine everyone will have to assume they will become infected. The experience of the virus seems to be that those who are old or have major health issues are very likely to have major problems if they are infected so they must protect themselves to the best possibility. The rest will either have to quarantine in fear or go out and take risks.

The question of golf is not one of entitlement. Yes, it is not in itself the most critical of issues so it really shouldn't get so much attention, but it is ridiculous that it is not being reopened by the Governor. This is a political decision for the appearance rather than one of "science" as the media scolds are constantly telling us is the most important thing. There is no science that says golf cannot be performed with social distancing and hand washing and be safe at this time.

The optics of video of overweight bald middle aged men enjoying themselves playing on evening talk shows is what is keeping nanny state politicians from permitting the opening of golf courses. That is all. The lockdown may have been necessary (especially in Northeastern state urban areas) but a reopening is also necessary. Somewhere the media moved the goalposts from focusing in the capacity of the medical system to now having the government becoming responsible for every sickness and death that occurs when the reopening begins. Next they will blame Baker for the injuries and deaths in car accidents that happen since they weren't happening when no one was driving.

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It's great that you live near William Devine golf course, I go there quite often myself. However, golf is still expensive and you don't get to play the course for free. So the ability to just "walk over" and play is a bit far-fetched when you come from a systemically oppressed neighborhood. The other golf course in Boston, George Wright? That neighborhood?Not exactly H Block. So that leaves us with one golf course out of the 376 in Massachusetts that is easily accessible for people of any economic background. (I'm sure someone will point out a course in Lowell, Brockton or Springfield here...)

And how is the opening of golf courses "necessary"? Is a sport that is expensive to practice and play "necessary" to the economic engine of the commonwealth? How exactly? You yourself say "is not in itself the most critical of issues", so why not just let the Governor do his job? (BTW, life-long D here and I think he has done an incredible job so far.)

It's not a "nanny state" when all people are expected to abide by all the same rules. It's called a democratic society.

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Golf courses opening today with 19 well considered requirements. Society must begin reopening in a controlled and thoughtful way. This was an easy early commonsense step by Baker.

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Golf courses opening today with 19 well considered requirements.

'

What's the oversight, then? Because I'm guessing they will fail at meeting those 19 requirements. Their guests will thwart them. What if that happens?

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And I envisioned a bunch of people who are outside, happy, and not bothering anybody. The opposite of wanting that for another person is sociopathy.

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I kind of like living under the rule of law, especially when the law is based on facts and consistent principles. For example, "we're going to restrict activities that increase the risk of contagion."

Worrying about the optics of opening golf courses while keeping restaurants closed is not basing the rules on facts and consistent principles.

Allowing (even encouraging) people to get outside and walk, jog, and bicycle for exercise on public lands, but forbidding people to play golf on those same public lands is not basing the rules on facts and consistent principles.

And if you want another reason, when you go golfing you need to drive your car.

No you don't. Not if you live near the golf course.

Now, multiple that by 72 (18 holes x 4 golfers) x 10 hours (only one group per hour, which is not the norm) = 720 people playing golf. Then multiply 720 x 376 (# of courses in MA) = 270,720 opportunities to increase the spread (and this is with no stops mind you, not three) in one day.

Basic number sense ought to tell you that the idea that 270,720 people play golf on any given day in Massachusetts is ludicrous.

That is 1,895,040 MILLION extra opportunities per week to spread the virus. In comparison with ZERO right now. ZERO.

It's not in comparison with ZERO at all, because the people who are not golfing are going outside to walk, run, bicycle, and otherwise exercise.

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"Not if you live near a course" - Please see my point about the Governor trying to be equitable to all residents of the Commonwealth. Outside of William Devine (maybe Presidents), please tell me another public course that you can walk too easily? Or are most in leafy, suburbs that are AWCs?

"Basic number sense" - My math was wrong. I'll own that and couldn't edit it because I wasn't logged in. Most golf courses send groups of 4 off every 12 minutes. That is the potential for 48 people an hour. So that is only 528 people per day (6AM - 5PM) and it definitely won't be that busy. I do think courses will be packed and tee times full for at least two weeks after they re-open though. With so many folks working from home or on "flex" time, those 9:08 tee times on Tuesdays will become harder to get.

"It is not in comparison" - I wasn't talking about runners, walkers or cyclists. I was talking about golfers. There are zero chances for golfers to increase the spread of infection until the courses re-open.

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And can't work because of this.

It's not a good look.

This is one of the biggest problems today. People are worried about what something looks like, rather than thinking outside the box and realizing what it actually is or could be.

I think everyone is ok with golf (and everything else) being put on hold the past month or so. But if you had a list of things to open up first, golf would be there for obvious reasons.

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Probably a few hundred African Americans work at courses...And can't work because of this.

What jobs would they be doing under social distancing? Caddying? Doesn't seem very distant. Waiting tables, tending bar? Nope, that's out. What jobs would your unnamed-but-probably few hundred be doing?

This is one of the biggest problems today. People are worried about what something looks like, rather than thinking outside the box and realizing what it actually is or could be.

That's an interesting take. My own perspective: when you feel that fleeting twinge of concern about how something looks, you've probably sensed a problem. "Thinking outside the box" would seem to require paying some attention to that concern, would it not?

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Mowing, planting, replacing divots, etc.

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I'd think courses are still being maintained. It would be a lot of work to replace dead grass, get rid of the weeds, etc after leaving it for a season.

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Already many golf courses have kitchens open for take out, and there are probably thousands of groundskeepers, starters, etc that could easily get back to work. Open them up (with driving ranges) and you have even more kitchens open for food and drinks.

The point about worrying about what something looks like is the poster who equates golf with white people and therefore it would "look bad" so we should just shut it down.

Whether or not public golf courses make money is debatable, but you are also talking about tax revenue coming back as well.

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"the virus has hit communities of color and urban areas much harder than others."

Any evidence to back that up? According to the Mass COVID dashboard, 51% of the cases are "race unknown". How in the world can you make that statement when more than have the data is missing?

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Let's look at Boston, shall we? Biggest city, by far, in the state. No, they don't have all the race/ethnic data, either, but they do for about 75% of all people who have tested positive so far (so as of yesterday, they have data on more than 7,700 people), and the numbers show that blacks make up 40% of Covid-19 patients in the city, even though they only make up about 23% of the total city population.

According to the state, the communities with Covid-19 rates above 2,000 cases per 100,000 residents (i.e., the highest rates in the state) are:

           Total  Rate
Chelsea    2244   5957.85
Brockton   3179   3235.68
Lynn       2536   2513.3
Everett    1212   2497.1
Lawrence   1975   2239.84
Randolph    735   2147.93
Revere     1307   2145.57

All, except maybe Randolph, are urban, all have way higher percentages of minority residents than the state average.

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And if you want another reason, when you go golfing you need to drive your car.

Yes, what's the issue? People have cars, they use them. Not everybody lives in the city. As businesses open up, people are going to use their cars more.

That is 1,895,040 MILLION extra opportunities per week to spread the virus. In comparison with ZERO right now. ZERO.

Not zero. Nice dramatics there, though.

A few weeks ago, Baker gave a heads up about his plan to open other businesses. There were going to be parameters that businesses would have to follow if they wanted to open. As long as they followed those parameters, all is good. Sounds like a very sound plan to me. Instead of picking and choosing types of businesses that could open, he was going to set rules. As far as I can see, golf courses could easily follow his rules, much more so than any store.

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People don't play 1 hole of golf and get out. They all start at hole #1.

If tee times were an hour apart, then you'd have 4 x 10 = 40 golfers per day, not 720. Using the rest of your math, that's 15,040 opportunities per day.

Of course, that's not quite right for a variety of reasons, but nevertheless, your multiplying by 18 is erroneous.

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nor, for that matter, singles tennis.

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Golf. I don’t understand why it’s a thing. Never did.

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But if people like it, it seems like a perfectly socially-distant activity. The issue might be that people go out for a couple of brews afterwards (so, fine, close the 19th hole) or are in close proximity in a clubhouse (close the clubhouse). Also maybe issues sanitizing carts and such, so make people walk the goddamn course. One issue: how do people safely go do the bathroom. For men, they can go behind a tree, maybe, but women might not want to use a common space. But maybe tell people to go before and not drink too much, and keep them closed. (This is going to be a concern with a lot of things!)

Also potentially issues if there are non-quarantined people meeting up to make a foursome, but frankly a foursome could probably play a round without coming into contact with each other.

It's pretty clear outdoors activities aren't spreading covid, and that people can be pretty good about maintaining distance. We're not going to be running 5ks tomorrow, but a jog in the park, a day on the links, a trip to the beach is probably a net benefit. Control what you can (closing indoors areas, etc) and get rid of 99% of the risk. We don't have to get the R0 to 0, we just need to keep it as low as possible. Allowing people to shoot a round of golf might be an outlet that keeps them from doing something riskier instead.

(In the long run we can argue about how golf courses are tax havens for the rich, are exclusive, and that even public courses are pretty horrible uses of urban land. Hell, a third of Franklin Park is made up of 18 holes of golf, and even if each is occupied by a foursome that's 72 people in about 200 acres, or 1/3 person per acre. That's good for social distancing, but compare it to a soccer field (22 people, 1.3 acres, 16 people/acre) or tennis (2 people, 16 per acre, 32 people/acre) or basketball (10 people in a full-court, 5-on-5 game, 12 per acre, 120 people per acre). Even take somewhere like Wachusett: 110 acres of skiable terrain, 9200 uphill people per hour, figure four runs per hour, so 2300 people skiing at capacity, 21 people per acre (that seems crowded, but I guess it's basically a soccer pitch, plus at any given time 2/3 of them are on the lift anyway).

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according to the rules that Gov. Baker issued today. You must carry your clubs from hole to hole.

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.

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Go ahead, if you want, wear your mask and stay 6 feet away from others. But I still don’t get it.

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Ah, silliness in the time of coronavirus.

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Golf courses are destructive to the environment. They should all be converted to nature preserves which everyone can enjoy.

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Ban basketball for poor inner kids playing one on one. Open up golf courses for a foursome of
rich white guys. Boston we have a problem.

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It seems you either don't play basketball or golf, or maybe both, if you feel the games are the same when it comes to risk of spreading a virus.

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are probably not the golfers you see at Franklin Park, for instance. Probably not at George Wright or Fresh Pond, either.

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