It has almost become normal to assess the impact of Covid-19 in our lives and disc golf. It’s accompanying disruptions and the coping mechanisms of individuals. In 2020, a global pandemic rocked the world and spread to virtually every corner of the world, affecting the lives of people in different ways. Although the impact of Covid-19 varies based on local laws and city restrictions, one common impact is that it affected the primary and daily activities of people everywhere. This widespread contagious virus shut not only schools everywhere, but also shuts offices, restricted travels, and closed sporting tournaments.
Several sports experienced massive disruptions at the hands of Covid-19 and the outdoor sport, disc golf did not escape its grasp. Although some might argue that disc golf counts as a non-contact activity, thereby equipped to combat a contagious hand-to-hand or mouth-to-hand virus. But this is not entirely true. Disc golf also suffered along with the rest of the universe the implications of coronavirus. These impacts also got to the Professional Disc Golf Association, PDGA. Therefore, this article will discuss how coronavirus continues to affect the world of disc golf. Along with what disc golfers who suddenly have more time on their hands do to still enjoy their favorite outdoor activity amidst a pandemic.
Professional Disc Golf Association
Let’s begin with the apex regulatory body of disc golf, the PDGA, which also experienced pandemic disruptions. In order to contain the spread of Covid-19 and in accordance with the recommendations by CDC and WHO, as well as federal and local authorities. The PDGA announced its suspension of events sanctioning for 15 days till March 31st, 2020 on the 17th of March 2020. But as the virus continued to spread at increasing rates and with more measures put in place to contain it. The PDGA further extended this suspension till April 2020 on the 20th of March. This was to the disappointment of many disc golfers who anticipated using the free time gotten from shut down schools and offices to enjoy rounds of disc golf.
It didn’t end there. Further disruptions to disc golf continued when the PDGA announced the postponement of its Major and National Tour Events scheduled for later. Advising stakeholders to either move their events to 2021 or outrightly cancel them. These major events needed more travels, more players, and more logistical expenses amid a global uncertainty caused by Covid-19. This was the fate of disc golf in 2020; cancellations and postponements of major events. Although the PDGA later set out a guideline for re-establishing events sanctioning, things weren’t the same.
Solo Rounds in Parks
But as we know, disc golf is not all about big events or tournaments. Disc golfers can decide to have solo rounds in a park or a private disc golf course. But how safe is this amidst a global pandemic? Well, safety depends on where and who you play with. Let’s begin by stating that this is not a recommendation to play disc golf during this period, but simply an assessment of what disc golfers can do amidst this pandemic.
Disc golf isn’t the only victim of Covid-19, other sporting events have had their fair share of disruptions. So have recreational centers, some of which continue to remain shut in some regions around the world. It is, therefore, no surprise that public parks when open experience heavy foot traffic, with people seeking some form of recreational activity. Therefore, even a solo round of disc golf in a park could prove difficult, as it might be hard to avoid surfaces touched by others outside your household. Therefore, solo rounds of disc golf in this period are only advisable with high preventive measures or in a less crowded park.
Private Disc Golf Course
We can say the same for private disc golf courses, which are receiving more human traffic, as people seek refuge from the confines of their homes. Therefore, making it a possible health hazard as it becomes difficult to avoid touching the same surfaces as others. The difficulty lies majorly in playing with others outside your household. During solo rounds or rounds with members of your household, it’s easier to stay in contact with them. But when playing with others outside your home it becomes more difficult to avoid physical contact.
Nevertheless, mankind has always found a way to march on from troubling times and Covid-19 is no different. People find ways to continue to live, work, school, and even enjoy sports amid the pandemic, and disc golf isn’t left out. But strict adherence to all preventive measures necessary in these times.
What Can We Do?
In a bid to continue enjoying this sporting outdoor activity that we love. What should we do to ensure we can play the game? One major step to take when playing disc golf is adherence to preventive measures by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We hope for the return of physical contact to our sport soon, but none of that for now. Remember, the process by which Covid-19 spreads. So going forward ensure to keep a safe distance between you and other players, at least three feet. Disinfectant your discs frequently with wipes, wash and sanitize your hands frequently. No handshakes, no hugs, no high-fives, no picking up other people’s disc for them.
As we continue to maintain a safe distance from others and observe all other preventive measures while playing rounds. Let’s remember that we have a moral obligation to prevent the spread of this virus. Regardless of the age group we fall into, anyone can be a transmitter of the virus. Who we play with and where we play is our choice to make. But remember that playing rounds in less crowded areas and with members of your house is safer both for you and for others. So let’s adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols. And hopefully, soon enough we get to enjoy our sports the way we love, doing rounds with friends and family.