In this crazy year of a pandemic, social injustice, and bunch of lunatics attempting to run this country, one group has thrived: GOLFERS. We have especially been blessed in Northeast Ohio. I feel that it is necessary to recognize the efforts of the outstanding people who have made our golf season seem as if nothing is wrong with the year 2020.
Several golf associations in Northeast Ohio have produced golf events this year following the guidelines set forth by the Ohio Department of Health. I, personally, have played in events run by the Akron Golf District, Northern Ohio Golf Association, Cleveland Metroparks Golf, Ohio Golf Association (Columbus), Northern Ohio PGA and my local club. Every event has been handled extremely well in regard to social distancing and following COVID-19 protocols. Even leaving the flagstick in has become somewhat normal.
The effort put forth by the people running these tournaments has been spectacular. For those that may not consider what it takes to run a golf tournament, I would like to shed some light. I have served on the NOGA Tournament Advisory Committee for the past few years. We meet a few times a year to discuss what worked well last year and what didn’t. We also help to establish the tournaments for the upcoming season. That’s the easy part. Then, NOGA’s staff begins the process of finding dates and courses for the events, marketing the events, managing a tournament website, creating yardages for different divisions, establishing scorecards, processing applications, local rules, pin placements, scoring apps, tracking payments, recruiting advertisers and developing signage, and spending an entire day watching a bunch of mediocre golfers (which we all are) play golf.
All that we have to do as golfers is SIGN UP AND SHOW UP.
This same effort is true for the Akron Golf District, Cleveland Metroparks, the Ohio PGA, your local club, or any other tournament. I mention all of this because I feel that many of us take for granted the tremendous amount of work that these people do, just so we can have fun. I don’t know of any other region in the country that does a better job than the associations in Northeast Ohio.
In addition to our associations, we have a website (NEOHGOLF.com) run by Allen Freeman that does a great job of working with all of the associations, charity events, high schools, etc. to give us a central location to find tournaments, results and pictures. Let’s face it, we all like to see pictures of ourselves, regardless of how bad the swing looks.
Allen also participates on the NOGA Tournament Advisory Committee and has (among other things) helped to promote the inclusion of everyone in NOGA tournaments over the last two seasons. This was long overdue, has provided a much more competitive environment and has been healthy for the game of golf in Northeast Ohio.
As we finish out the 2020 season, be sure to say thank you to the people that help with these events and promote golf in Northeast Ohio. The guy that helps with your clubs when you arrive, the scorekeepers, the guy cutting the greens, and the local golf professional — thank them all.
2020 golf in Northeast Ohio has been a WINNER thanks to the efforts of all of our great associations and clubs.
— Monty Guest