Men’s Niners Golf, April 2020

Jim Wegman, Publicity

Gentlemen, we have experienced a most unique month in the history of the Niners. The league played no tournaments due to COVID-19 restrictions. Some of our members did get out for golf on Ironwood or Oakwood courses, via the Chelsea requests for tee times. No shotgun starts were permitted. Utilizing the Arizona Golf Association (AZGA) recommendations for safe distancing, removal of bunker rakes, and modifications to the flagstick and cup, our members played any number of 9- and 18-hole rounds. This was a very different game of golf. Members kept a safe distance from their playing partners on the tee boxes and the greens, and there was no post-round breakfast or socialization. Still, any golf is better than no golf at all. Foursomes are being permitted to ride in separate carts, and if you do not have a cart, course carts are available. These carts are being cleaned after each use.

As I write this report, we have no definite information concerning a return to our regular schedule. Keep checking the Niners website for the most up-to-date information.

The golf operation here in IronOaks is continuing. Both pro shops are open with modified summer hours. The transition from winter rye grass to the summer Bermuda grass has started. Detailed information is available on the Golf Connection or the SITL reports posted by Director of Golf Operations Eddy Renio and Course Superintendent Ross Buckendahl. The field crew is keeping the turf in good condition, given the short staff situation, and the rangers and pro shop staff are doing everything they can to assist our golfers and provide a good golfing experience under very difficult conditions.

Some of our winter season golfers have already departed, and some are preparing for the trip to their summer homes. We wish them all a good and safe summer season and we will welcome them back when the seasons change.

As we enter the Arizona summer, keep in mind the high heat and what steps you need to take to make golf fun and safe. Hydrate before you head out to the course and cover all exposed areas with a good quality sunblock. During the current conditions, there will be no water available on the courses. Take plenty of water or a sports drink for maintaining your fluid levels and take a drink on each hole. Reapply sunblock as you play to stay protected. Maintain a safe distance from your fellow players.

We will all get through this difficult situation if we use good sense and show concern for others.