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America’s new melting pot: Golf course

Minnesota golfer observes players from across the human spectrum teeing it up in a new era of appreciation for the game

As many golfers have observed recently, the courses across the country have had full tee sheets every day. This certainly has been true at the municipal course where I play. Every day is like Saturday morning.

Here are a few things I've seen that are a little different than last year:

Four kids about age 12 in the group in front of me who weren't very good but moving right along, and apparently having a lot of fun. I usually play as a single during the week. This year, that means I'll be joining three other players whom I don't know. Frequently, this includes lapsed golfers who are returning to the game and seem happy with the decision. Fathers and mothers with smaller children who are letting them hit shots after they get closer to the green and then putting on the green. I have been joined by African-Americans, Asians, Latinos. To really cap things off, I recently teed it up with a Tongan in full traditional dress: tupenu, T-shirt and sandals. His son was wearing traditional golf attire and looked a lot like Tony Finau. The father was a lot of fun, and his son could really move the ball – a left-hander who let go of the club with his left hand upon impact. That was different. Many more women, too.

In short, it’s an American melting pot of golfers of every description and ability. It's been a lot of fun, and it's good for golf.

Get out there. Play with someone new for a change. Just enjoy hitting the ball, finding it and hitting it again. Coronavirus may have delivered a load of lemons, but golf just might make some lemonade out of the situation.

As I like to say to my new companions on the first tee: Let's play!

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.

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