Geneva, Sunday 26 April 2020
A man driving along sees a penguin by the side of the road. He stops, picks up the penguin and takes it to the police station. The policeman says “Why did you bring the penguin here? Take him to the zoo!” The following day, the policeman is out in the street and sees the same man in his car with the penguin in the front seat wearing a cap and sun glasses. “Oi!” shouts the policeman. “I told you to take that penguin to the zoo.” The man replies “I did take him to the zoo. He loved it. Then we went to the cinema. Then we had a pizza and today we’re going to play golf!”
It looks like golf in Switzerland will open on 1 May and in France on 11 May. (We live in Switzerland but our club is in nearby France.) Sounding hopeful! We don’t yet know if we’ll be able to cross the border.
The French Golf Federation seems to be right onto it and has published rules for clubs so they comply with French government stipulations on COVID-19 distancing. The main features are:
- The club house is closed but can keep the reception open and sell only take-away food;
- All players must reserve in advance with no hanging around before or after the round;
- Only two ball games;
- A three metre distance between all other players at all times;
- No sharing of caddy cars, trolleys or clubs;
- Hand disinfectant must be available on hole 1, 9 and 18;
- No exchange of score cards;
- No handling of bunker rakes;
- No handling flag stick or removing ball from the hole by hand.
This last means the flag on every hole must be equipped with a gadget to lift the ball out with the putter. For example…
Practice ranges are open but with similar rules as well as disinfection of ball baskets after each use.
We have, as yet, no idea when competition golf might recommence.
The next most important subject obviously is the art of bread-making. I don’t know how to break the news about our domestic bake-off: Boris (my wife’s sourdough starter) beat Donald (mine) on their first crust-to-crust encounter. Despite massive cheating on Donald’s part (doping with commercial yeast in training,) he was too wet and slippery and got stuck to the bottom of the Dutch oven.
Meantime, Boris did his bit for Queen and Country. His namesake returns to work tomorrow.
In today’s putting competition, I regained at least a crumb of honour by winning on the first play-off hole. That’s me up, 19-9.