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Local Golf Report: Men's league meeting at Prairie Farms

From Tee to Green

 

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Professional golf is set to make its return in the coming weeks, without fans of course. And on the local level, league golf could be returning, as well. There is a men's league meeting set for Wednesday night at Prairie Farms Golf Course.

We've had golf back in Havre for a couple weeks now. In other parts of Montana, it's been back even a little longer. And in states around America, golf courses are opening with more frequency amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

And now, we're going to get some golf back on TV, too, and I can't wait.

This weekend, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Matt Wolf, four major PGA tour stars will play a televised charity match for COVID-19 relief. It will be the first time we've seen the PGA Tour pros on the course since the season was suspended back at the Players Championship in very early March.

But this weekend's match is only the beginning.

Over Memorial Day Weekend, The Match 2 will take place in Florida, pitting Tiger Woods against Phil Mickelson. Only this time, they'll each have a partner. Mickelson will team with Tom Brady while Woods will play with Peyton Manning. The 18-hole match will be another fundraiser for the coronavirus relief fund.

And with the sports world thirsting for anything real, and having grown pretty tired of reruns, I think both golf events will be watched with a lot of enthusiasm.

However, both charity matches are only a prelude to what's to come in June.

For now at least, the PGA Tour plans to resume its season starting June 11-14 at Colonial In Dallas. That will start a modified tour schedule that also has all of the majors except the Birtish Open coming at the end of the season, including The Master being held the week before Thanksgiving.

To imagine golf coming back is a very exciting thought. And, to think, maybe it will be the start of a road to returning to some sort of sports normalcy.

Other leagues are testing the waters right now, too. The UFC held an event last Saturday, with no fans in attendance of course, and NASCAR is resuming its season, again, with no fans, this weekend in North Carolina. Meanwhile, the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball haven't announced their plans just yet, but they can't be far off.

So, without those big three playing yet, and with all due respect to UFC and NASCAR, the PGA Tour is really going to be the major sport's guinea pig, as it relates to returning to action amid the pandemic.

Most tour players say they're excited to come back, and let's be honest, whether it's golf, basketball or UFC to name a few, any pro sport that decides to return during this crisis will be protected as well as anything can be during this time. What I mean by that is, with fans completely taken out of the equation, at least for the near future, leagues only need to worry about players, staff, coaches, etc. They can, in all reality, operate their sports in a bubble of sorts, and they don't have to worry about the large gathering part of sports, yet.

Now, as we saw with the NBA at the beginning of this crisis, it doesn't matter if fans are in the stands, the players and coaches, and referees can all get the virus and easily transmit it. But again, at the highest levels of sports, every precaution will be taken, and at the first hint of trouble, things will be shut down immediately. There is no way sports are going to be a part of the spread, again.

And that's honestly the way it should be going forward. During almost every crisis this country has ever faced, sports have been a part of the solution. They've always been a part of the healing process. But, so far, not this time. In this crisis, in the beginning, sports were a big part of the problem because games in the NBA, the NHL and spring training baseball, they didn't stop nearly soon enough, and in the early days of the outbreak in the U.S., games were certainly helping to spread the virus.

But, that won't be the case now. Sports have a second chance to get this right. Sports, with golf at the forefront, have a chance to finally offer, at least to those of us who love sports, a chance to slightly return to some sort of normal. Because let's face it, there are a lot of us who consider sitting on the couch watching golf part of our normal. I know it's part of mine. And now, we're going to get that chance, and I think it's good thing.

Certainly, safety has to be at the forefront, and I believe, in terms of the PGA Tour, every single precaution that can be taken will be taken and, to protect everyone involved, no expense will be spared and no stone unturned. The PGA Tour will come back as safe as humanly possible.

And, for the immediate future, it will also protect the fans because we're not allowed to be on the course with them. Instead, we will be in the safety of our own homes, our own man caves or clubhouse or wherever else we enjoy watching golf. In other words, bringing the PGA Tour back isn't going to harm us as loyal fans one bit.

No, instead, I think it's only going to help. We have a long way to go in this crisis. It could, and will, still likely be a long tough summer with COVID, but on the weekends, watching my favorite golfers do what they do at the tournaments we love to see them play so much, that's going to make things a little easier, at least I know it will for me.

So, with that said, I'll be tuning in this next couple of weeks to finally get some live golf back in my life. But more importantly, I'll be tuning in to get some normalcy back. And I suspect, at least those of you who love golf like I do, I suspect you'll be tuning in, too.

Speaking of coming back, there may be golf league soon at Prairie Farms Golf Course. There's a men's league meeting set for Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Prairie Farms. Once details of the future of men's league this season are available, we'll have them in this column for you.

 

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