How are you handling the lockdown?

John Shortt

Sunset blankets the 16th at Royal Portrush. By Kevin Markham

I’ll preface this by saying that this isn’t a golf post. But I think it’s an important message.

We have been in ‘lockdown’ since March 27th but schools and many businesses closed on March 13th. It’s not that long really…less than 50 days in fact but it seems like an eternity and April must surely go down as the longest month on record! By the way, does anyone know what day it is?

What started out in March as a 2-week restriction quickly became much more and restrictions, in whatever form, are set to be with us for many months to come. So what are we to do?


Some online gurus would say that you have to come out of this with a new skill or you’ll have wasted the time. Some people are spending endless hours exercising, others are practicing their golf swing in the garden with home-made nets and even more are painting, decorating and cleaning house. One thing that all of the above have in common though is that they are being vocal and active on social media. In fact, my feed is full of videos of people doing all of the above, so much so that I’ve stopped watching them. But it’s important to realise that not everyone is the same.

Navigating your way through this lockdown is not a competition. If you don’t come out of it fitter, better at something or more magnificent than you were, that’s OK.  If you haven’t practiced your swing in the garden, painted the fence or jogged 5km each day, that’s OK too. Everyone is different and for all those who are struggling right now, I’d like them to know that they are not alone.

Some people are being very quiet, they are struggling in silence, they are staying awake at night worrying about their health, both physical and mental, their family’s health, their job, money and so much more besides. If your spouse is getting on your very last nerve, or your child has been tasked with doing a scavenger hunt around the house, it’s OK to feel pressured. As the saying goes, it’s OK to not be OK.

So, for those us of who are struggling to cope with home schooling and trying to make time for work while being asked how to spell things, answering questions about the French Revolution and reliving horrible memories of having to conjugate verbs in multiple languages, I salute you. If you’re managing to put food on the table, have the kids presentable each day, get your own exercise in and manage your way through this – you are a superstar. This situation is unprecedented. There was little or no warning of its arrival and there was no time for preparation, mental or otherwise. Coming through the other side is a victory.

My advice is to try and make some time for yourself. Take your Government permitted walk or exercise on your own today. Get some headspace, and try to ignore the news and social media for a while. This came on us quickly, it won’t leave as quickly but there are positive signs. When we can get out golfing again it will be a much-needed shot in the arm, but until then not everything is a competition. Everyone is handling it their own way, and your way is just fine.

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3 responses to “How are you handling the lockdown?”

  1. George Mitchell avatar
    George Mitchell

    It’s terrible to let that so good club and course go down the tubes!
    I don’t think the GUI are strongly enough opposing the current restrictions . They had a good plan to initially restrict the spread and that should be again be proposed. Politicians are aimlessly being led by the medicals and it looks to me that they will drag out the close down for months. This virus may take up to 2 years to become extinct and if we have to wait that long many of us over 70s will never set foot on a golf course again.

  2. James Chawke avatar
    James Chawke

    Have to agree with you, feel we are missing an opportunity to promote golf as a safe sport to participate in. Good guidelines have been set in place and if these are adhered to there should be no problem.

  3. Tony Finn. avatar
    Tony Finn.

    A player is more likely to be hit by a golf ball than a Corona Virus on the golf course. We spend most of our time Social Distancing as part of the game. We are intelligent enough to remain 2mts apart on tees & greens without having to be told to do so. THERE IS NO VALID REASON TO KEEP GOLF COURSES COLSED ANY MORE. A bit of perspective would be in order!

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