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Golfers adjusting to tournament changes

High school golf tournaments are looking a little different this year due to COVID-19
Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 3:41 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The high school golf season began on July 31 and has looked a little different this year due to COVID-19.

“The kids are out and competing and we’re gracious for that,” said Adam Whitt, Bowling Green’s boys’ golf coach.

“You know there for a while we weren’t sure whether we would be able to have a senior season at least for me,” said Nathan Oliver, a senior member for the Greenwood golf team.

Tuesday featured the Southern Kentucky Shootout at CrossWinds golf course. The tournament had players from across 14 different schools in attendance.

This year, tournaments are run with tee times instead of the usual shotgun format. The shotgun format puts players at different holes across the course and has them starting at the same time. As a way to help keep social distancing, tournaments are now going with tee times.

“You have a designated check-in time, a designated spot on the putting green,” Whitt said. “It kind keeps everyone spaced out to where you don’t have to many players come in contact with each other during the day.”

Bowling Green senior Carson Myers said he enjoyed playing under a tee time format because it allowed him to keep his own pace throughout the round.

“Shotguns I feel like people can mess up and you can hold people back,” Myers said.

Whitt said tournaments are trying to avoid high traffic areas. The Southern Kentucky Shootout didn’t feature a scoreboard as a way to help reduce gatherings during the tournament. Instead of a scoreboard, players turned in their scorecards to Whitt and he’ll email the results to the coaches at the conclusion of the tournament.

“What does everybody do at the end of a golf tournament? They want to gather around the scoreboards to see the results.” Whitt said. “I think by taking that scoreboard down you’ve eliminated the want to and need to stick around the scoreboard. The coaches will know the results later on tonight once everybody finishes.”

Whitt said it’s hard since you want to have a trophy celebration and want to know who one but the procedures are necessary.

Oliver said that it’s been weird doing things against the norm such as not shaking hands after a round or touching flag sticks. However, players have been getting adjusted pretty quickly.

“You grow accustomed to that pretty easily and we’re just happy to be out here,” Oliver said.

Golf, like most sports that are being played or scheduled to begin, looks a little different. For players and coaches, they’re just glad to be back.

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