FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fans across the country have watched as the sport of golf has somewhat returned over the last two weekends on the national scale. But at a local level, the sport never fully went away.
Despite COVID-19 putting a stop to practically all sporting events, golf has been a constant at the local levels, here in West Virginia.
Clubs and courses, for the most part, have been open over the last month or so as we’re still somewhat in the early stages of the golf season. Though courses have only been able to be open while following state-mandated restrictions, such as largely having one person per golf cart, and only having outdoor seating for any food or beverage options that they have.
The virus did have an impact on early golf turnouts across the region, as we’ve told you in the past.
But now that the weather has been better recently, and certain restrictions have been lifted state-wide (meaning more people are out of their homes), players of all ages are returning to their favorite fairways.
“Golf has picked up. The weather has been great. The social distancing has eased a lot, but we’re still following regulations. But people have been playing golf and they’re glad to get outside. We made a lot of improvements to the golf course and people are noticing that and they’re coming out a lot more, too, to appreciate what we have to offer,” said Andy Schallmo, the Golf Professional at Apple Valley Country Club in Fairmont.
Apple Valley CC might be a little ahead of the game as opposed to other courses we spoke with Tuesday.
An employee at Bridgeport Country Club said that things, “seem slower than usual”, and another Harrison County course noted that they’re behind in numbers compared to where they normally are.
But numbers are slowly improving.
And the hope is that more and more people will be hitting the links again soon, and that mother nature can be a lot kinder, like she has been the last two days.