A tee marker at Buchan Valley GC, Victoria

It’s safe to say that 2020 is proving to be one of the most difficult years in living memory.

Covid-19 is running rampant across the planet, with people either locked-down, quarantined or brawling in the aisles for bathroom tissue. This all followed the rampant bushfires and floods that ravaged many communities across Australia earlier in the year.

There is a high probability that some (or even many) businesses in Australia will not be able to survive the one-two punch of these two catastrophes. Indeed, for companies/clubs/businesses which may have already been struggling prior to this year, the last few months could be the final nail in their coffin.

Through all the doom and gloom, however, we see little sparks of hope emerging, which helps restore our faith in humanity. For every toilet paper punch-up at Woolies, we see people on Facebook offering to pick-up and drop-off basic necessities for the elderly. For every profit-monger who is hoarding hand sanitizer, we hear about neighbours going door to door to openly share food, nappies or pantry staples. And there are teachers and educators offering free online tutoring and games to keep our home-bound kids occupied.

And this is where the golfing community can begin to shine.

Recently, I heard about a group of Concord GC members that were about to embark on a weekend-golf-trip to Tumut GC, one of the many bushfire-affected NSW country clubs that are in dire need of support. Concord’s weekend of golf, dining and frivolity will provide a welcome injection of funds into Tumut’s coffers.  Clubs like Mallacoota GC in Victoria, and clubs along the South Coast of NSW are also benefitting from the warm support of other clubs across the country—courtesy of golf days and donations.

If you or your club are keen (and able) to help out in a similar way, why not consider an “Adopt a Club weekend away”, where you contact a fire-affected club and offer to bring a small group down for a hit? It could be the difference between a club’s survival or demise.

If you’re not able to make or organise a similar trip in the immediate future, you can still help these local businesses from afar. It’s easy, for example, to make a quick phone call or website visit to a club in one of the affected regions, and purchase a gift certificate or voucher (if available) for 18 holes (or whatever you like), for use at a later time. This helps boost the finances of the club now, when they need it the most. You can then visit the club later, when travel is more convenient (or allowed).

By following the current guidelines and advice sent by Golf Australia and the Australian Department of Health, we can all aim to stay healthy while enjoying the game we love, and even possibly assisting other clubs in their time of need.

So let’s continue to help each other out. Be a shining light in a dark time. Let’s band together, as an industry, and drive forward for the common good.

Stay safe, and I’ll see you on the fairways (from a safe “Social distance”)

Richard

About Richard Fellner

Winner of multiple Australian Golf Media Awards, including Best Photojournalism and Best Column, Inside Golf Group Editor Richard Fellner is the quintessential Golf Tragic, having played the game for over 50 years (but has never gotten any better!) He has played and reviewed courses all over the world, and has interviewed many of the great players of the game (including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Greg Norman). Richard is a member of both the Australian Golf Writers Association and the Golf Society of Australia, and he is a regular guest on many Australian "sports talk" radio shows and networks, including ABC Grandstand, SEN 1116, Melbourne Talk Radio 1377, 2GB and others. Follow Richard Fellner on Quora

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