Rochester golfers still playing despite coronavirus warnings


Any other year, Rochester would be ecstatic that golf season is starting so early.

However, concerns about the coronavirus have dampened enthusiasm quite a bit.

While the Monroe County Health Commission warns that any contact in public could be dangerous, Rochestarians are still playing golf.

The temperature was barely passable for golf, but Ravenwood Golf Club in Victor hosted about 40 rounds on Sunday.

“I just said, ‘you know what, I’m gonna go out and play golf’. Life is too short. I’m just gonna enjoy this,” said Mark Battle, who is also the president of the Rochester District Golf Association.

“I’m a little surprised there’s people out because it’s cold,” said Ravenwood general manager Mike Roeder. “But, I’m not surprised knowing that people know now they’re not going to work or they’re not going to school.”

While golfers were cognizant of coronavirus precautions, most felt comfortable playing golf. A large reason is the game already comes with plenty of social distancing.

“There’s not any people out here. There’s no one out here,” said Ryan Colwell, a junior on the Victor High School golf team. “We’re away from it. I like it. I’d rather be out here than at home.”

Colwell was one of a handful of high school or college golfers who were trying to stay in shape should there be a season for them this spring.

The only part of golf that doesn’t ensure six feet of personal space is riding in a cart. Roeder says the club has considered limiting carts to one person only and anyone who wants a cart to themselves can have it.

Most players are comfortable riding with the friend that’s in foursome. Many of the pairs are related and living together anyway.

The Health Commission recommended on Sunday that all bars and restaurants should close. Ravenwood is aware of the recommendation, but has no plans to close at this point. They are going to discuss day by day whether or not to remain open.

“There’s not a lot of crowds, you’re spread out and we’re doing everything we can to sanitize the facility and keep things clean,” Roeder said. “This is definitely a serious thing. You want people to be safe, but at the same time, people want to get out and recreate and enjoy. Hopefully, they’ll be able to continue to do that.”

Any other early spring in Rochester, that would be a given. Not this year.

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