We’ve talked about how to cope with short-term injury and needing some time away from golf. But now we’re in the midst of an international pandemic — which will hopefully be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us — and it’s seriously cramping our golf style. In some places, courses and clubs are open with restrictions. In others, they’re totally locked down. So how do we deal with weather that’s getting nicer and a restriction or inability to get out on the links? 

You feel me? I sure do.

The first task is to feel the feelings. I recently read a quote that said “feelings are for feeling.” Now’s not the time to be all tough and invincible and decide that you’re “fine” and nothing’s different. Let yourself be a little angry that you can’t get out and enjoy a round with friends. Let yourself be frustrated that your shiny new clubs have to sit in the basement for a few more weeks — maybe even months. Feel sad that you’re losing out on skill-building, socialization and the tranquility of the course. 

Desperate times call for virtual measures 

Once you let yourself feel the feels, figure out what to do to stay engaged with the game. A few ideas: 

  • It’s not crazy to watch those old tournaments that you’ve kept on your DVR for the last year. There’s never been a better time for it! 
  • Fire up your game console and play a round on Golf Tour. Or follow a trend I recently learned about from my husband: Amazon is delivering Xboxes really fast even amidst all this if you don’t already have a console. 
  • Join in the Stick and Hack virtual happy hours — they’re seriously a lot of fun! (Click here to learn how.

See the course … now play the course …

Get some mental work in. Close your eyes and imagine your favorite course you’ve ever played. Now imagine playing it. It can sound corny, but it’s really helpful! Not just from a coping standpoint, but from a performance standpoint as well. Grab a club — leave the balls in the bag! — close your eyes and swing. Imagine the feeling and sound of hitting the ball and seeing the flight. It’s amazing how much quality work you can get done without being able to head to the course. 

Patience makes the game even sweeter

Finally, be patient. It’s worth repeating: This is all bigger than us and a couple of rounds of golf. Imagine how amazing it will feel to get back out on the course with the sunshine on your face, a few dollars bet that you’ll probably lose and a cold beer. I promise you, that time will return. Until then, focus on staying safe and healthy so that you have the opportunity to enjoy either showing off your skills or surviving that next round!