NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Action is slowly starting to return to golf courses in our area.

Whenever the country is in need of a return to normalcy, sports has always played a big role. This time, golf is one of the sports leading the way with the first official tournament beginning in a month.

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It’s not just the pros who are getting back to the game. Golf courses in New Jersey and New York are reopening, although there are some changes for golfers.

“You pretty much just holler at the starter your name and tee time and they send you on your way, but you pre-pay. The game itself is a bit of a walk. There’s no carts allowed. We’re playing two rounds, that’s gonna be 14 miles lugging a 50-pound bag, so good workout, good for the legs,” New York City resident John Staudinger told CBS2’s Steve Overymer.

Staudinger is like many New Yorkers looking for sports to make life feel normal.


“Does it feel hopeful that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel right now?” Overmyer asked.

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“Yeah. I mean, it really does. This is a little bit of a return to normalcy. Everything that we’re hearing, it seems like the world might start to return to normal. And it just coincides with some great weather. It’s been pretty rainy the month of April, so this is fantastic to be out and about,” Staudinger said.

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They’ve eliminated high-touch areas, so no rakes in the bunkers and the cups are all above ground so you don’t even have to touch the pin. But the reopening of golf courses is a welcome move and a hopeful sign.

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“Do you feel like golf is the perfect sport to kind of lead us back because of social distancing element?” Overmyer asked.

“Absolutely, it’s a sense of normalcy. I’m out here allowed to play 36 holes,” Staudinger said. “The pitch to the wife was absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? People are living on top of each other in small New York City apartments for the last two months, so this is good for the relationship.”

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Golfers aren’t the only ones benefiting from this soft reopening.