As it stands, golf is one of the few sports still being played at in Australia during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Golf Australia has been hard at work keeping all clubs across the country up to date with the latest health and safety advice and relevant rule changes to reduce contact between players.
Changes include players marking their own scorecards, removing rakes from bunkers, removing flags from greens and one of the most important elements of any sport, there is no longer a handshake between competitors at the end of the round.
This is how my first round went playing under the new rules.
There's nothing like the buzz during the five minute drive to the golf course ahead of a club competition.
The mixture of nerves and excitement, will I shoot an amazing score or will it all fall apart?
I won't lie, as hard as I try to focus on improving my swing, thoughts of what's going on across the world make it quite difficult.
But in some strange way being able to get out of the house for a couple hours to hit a little white ball with a stick, it brings so much joy.
At Neangar Park GC, in addition to other clubs throughout Bendigo, management and committees are taking every possible precaution to ensure the health and safety of its members and all players.
Clubhouses are closed, only two people are allowed in pro shops at any one time, all players tee off from the first with 10 minute intervals to reduce congestion and above all, social distancing must be practiced at all times.
As flags have been removed from all the greens, visually it was a very odd feeling making an approach shot from 150 metres out with no sight of a flag stick.
Luckily, small sheets are provided with the position of each pin location.
But I will be honest, playing off a handicap of 18, I was happy to just be on the dance floor.
It was probably a lot easier without the pins as my goal was to just land the ball on the green and hopefully be able put together a solid two-putt.
During the round, and any golfer would know this, it felt strange marking my own scorecard, but it was a necessary step to reduce physical contact.
It's all on each golfer to make sure their card is perfect, and let's face it, if you tell porkies, you are only cheating yourself, which is against everything the sport stands for, respect and fairness.
One of the most important measures enforced by Golf Australia was no hand shaking at the end of the round.
Normally after the last ball of the group rolls into the cup on the final hole, hats come off and hands are shaken as a mark of respect.
It felt odd ending a round without that acknowledgement, but certainly a necessary step to reduce contact.
Regardless, a round of golf was a welcome distraction from everything that is happening, the course is a sanctuary to so many people.
With further inevitable social restrictions on the horizon, my advice is to enjoy a round of golf while you still can.
As of Friday March 27 Golf Australia's update was that courses were still able to operate, provided players abide to the strict social distancing measures.
"Clubs that are permitted to operate should be doing all they can to protect the privilege of being able to play our sport during these challenging times," GA said in a statement.
Golf Australia is playing close attention to any change in advice and will update all clubs as soon as readily available.
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