CLEVELAND, Ohio — Concord resident Tom Kasten is one of many people getting outside to golf for fun, trying to escape the blur of COVID-19.
Every day, he finishes up work in the early afternoon, eager to escape to the golf course.
“Every day. Golfing is the best” said Kasten.
Like clockwork, he heads over to his country club. Kasten considers himself a social golfer, and he is very aware of the importance of social distancing. These days, he's golfing more than ever before due to having more free time on his hands because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, he’s meeting one of his buddies to play a friendly, but competitive, round of 18 holes. His friend Tony Humpert is another person forced to work from home because of the pandemic.
Like Kasten, Humpert owns his own business and usually travels a lot. But with restrictions placed on traveling, he is homebound more often than not.
Wanting to steer clear of COVID-19, he said he likes that golf gets him outdoors, offering a safer way to hang with friends than being inside.
“Not that I’m overly worried about it, but there’s no reason to if we can come here and relax and get exercise and enjoy the weather,” said Humpert, a Mentor resident.
With more time now to do things he couldn’t before because of work time constraints, Kasten said golfing is a productive way to pass this added time.
“It gets you outdoors, It gets you to stop thinking about COVID, stop stressing out and stop thinking about the same thing over and over. Golf kind of makes you not think which is good—it just makes you enjoy,” said Kasten.
Golfing has increased tenfold in many places all over the country, according to the Washington Post. Kasten and Humpert have been members of Quail Hollow Country Club for years and have never seen this many people come out to play.
“I’ve been here 16 years, and this is the busiest I’ve ever seen it in the (3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) time frame,” said Humpert.
“We used to be able to sporadically come out here like, you kno,w hey let’s meet out here after work, and go hit it. We wouldn’t need a t-time. Now we need a t-time,” said Kasten.
After a long, but fun, afternoon of golf, they head over to a local restaurant for dinner and drinks. The best part about Tom’s day?
“I would have to say beating my friend Tony again,” said Kasten.
“He did not beat me; he lost twice,” said Humpert.
“Oh I lost to you, nevermind. I lost to him, alright. Scratch that,” said Kasten.
Some friendly fun—good for the mind and body during these stressful times.