CRANSTON (WPRI) – The Rhode Island Golf Association’s 118th year was far from certain this spring with the coronavirus pandemic threatening to cancel marquee championships. But with the 99th Junior Amateur complete and the state amateur on deck next week, the summer season looks much more promising than it did a few months ago.
“It’s been great to get back to normal or what is normal these days, to see people compete, seeing people enjoy themselves at the golf course,” RIGA Executive Director Bob Ward said. “So that part has been awesome. The schedule on the other hand, hasn’t been much fun.”
“We’re going to try and stuff six months of golf tournaments into three and a half months, so it’s going to be a pretty busy summer, and hopefully the weather cooperates with us and we don’t have to reschedule any rain outs.”
Many local courses have struggled over the last few years to bring in business but the crisis has provided a unique opportunity to re-energize golfers. It’s one of the few sports that can be played during the pandemic.
“I’ve seen more of our recreational members playing more frequently than they ever have, because they are restricted in so many other areas of life,” Norm Alberigo, the head pro at Aawam Hunt, said. “We’ve had an influx of new members.”
Alberigo added: “I’ve never seen so many new member tours. It’s been an extraordinary opportunity that we’ve seen from these changes in life, and with some of the bad came a lot of good for us at the club.”