Woke up this morning and my golf was dead

I woke up this morning feeling bummed. I was supposed to play golf at 8:17 a.m. today, but the Ontario government declared that golf courses were closed at 12:01 a.m.

I went from bummed to angry as I read that health experts were slamming the government for failing to close manufacturing plants and warehouses, and for depriving people of healthy outdoor exercise like golf or tennis.

Then I listened to myself fulminate to my wife that plants are “incubators” for COVID, and Premier Ford was placating his “cronies” in the business world.

Yup, I woke up this morning, a complaining, resentful and suffering golfer. But also one who works in the golf business, so I’ve got some skin in this game, and it’s kind of raw.

I woke up this morning feeling badly for people who work at golf courses and need the money, and for the majority of them who cherish serving golfers, talking golf and being part of a team of people working together to provide people with a wonderful time in a game that they love.

I woke up feeling sad for the old-timer that I met at a Tim Horton’s who once told me that he doesn’t hit the ball “worth a damn anymore,” but the game gives him a reason to get up in the morning.

I woke up this morning feeling for golfers who love the game in their soul, and that after waiting for the golf season to mercifully restart after the winter, they might be feeling empty and wondering what the hell they’re going to do to pass the time on their golf days.

I woke up this morning smugly adamant that the Ontario government made its decision to close golf courses based partly on optics—to appease people who view golfers as privileged white guys who play on green space restricted to those who can afford it.

I woke up annoyed that it appears to have escaped Premier Ford that, more than a year into the pandemic, golf provides a healthy respite for fatigued people to escape their four walls, connect with friends, feel less lonely, and feel revitalized by walking in nature and breathing spring air.

And then I realized that now I’m going to have a completely free weekend in the next month to build a fence around my little backyard with my very handy brother-in-law Jim who will tell me what to do because I’m not very handy. And that it will be fun and fulfilling.

And I also thought that I have run out of excuses to delay vacuuming the vents in our house, or catching up on the last two quarters of my HST, and that will assuage my Catholic guilt.

And … I won’t have to worry about choking my guts out in an Ontario Mid-Amateur qualifier, causing some folks to wonder, ‘What kind of a golf performance coach shoots 87?”

And … and … now on Saturday mornings, I can finally edit the novella draft that I wrote about four freaking years ago.

I woke up this morning feeling a bunch of things, but now that it’s past noon and I’ve thought through this a bit.

And, well, I guess that if it helps reduce the number of infections, maybe it’s not so bad that golf courses are closed in Ontario for a month. And maybe I just have to suck it up like millions of people inconvenienced by the pandemic by stuff like losing their job, their business or a family member.

Now it’s time to vacuum those vents. And maybe I’ll wake up feeling good that it’s finally done.

About Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor is a golf and mental performance coach, an award-winning writer, and Head Coach of the University of Guelph golf team. He is the recipient of the 2020 Lorne Rubenstein Media Award, given by Golf Ontario. He is author of The Feeling of Greatness: The Moe Norman Story, and co-host of the Swing Thoughts podcast with Howard Glassman. And he plays bass in CID—a punk band!

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