BOSTON, Mass – If there’s one fact that’s crystal-clear resulting from this merciless public health crisis, it’s that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is unschooled in his definition of what constitutes an “essential” business. An update to his old list is needed today, not May 4.
At his daily press briefings, the Governor stands 6’6” and speaks in a balanced monotone voice, playing the role of leader. Under coronavirus management-crisis circumstances, Mr. Baker has done a decent job, but flaws are evident in some of his decisions, which has now reached unprecedented government overreach proportions.
Before it’s too late, today is the time to call out Baker and demand immediate action, particularly as it concerns his ban on golf, effective since March 23.
Apparently, the Governor has been tone-deaf to allow golf to be played in the commonwealth, despite two attempts by the “Allied Golf Associations of New England/Northeast” – a coalition of 17 golf organizations.
The group is led by Mass Golf Executive Director Jesse Menachem, who has failed in getting a clear and concise message to the Governor about the importance of allowing the estimated $3 billion golf industry to be open-for-business because golf is an “essential” business and it will not increase the spread of COVID-19. The group reportedly met with Lt. Gov. Karen Polito and is preparing a multi-phased plan to open up golf. They have also hired a top state house lobbyist to try to sway influence with the Governor, modeled after successful move made in Wisconsin.
More importantly, golf is permitted in 38 states. Just this week the Governor of New York changed his original decision, and allowed private golf courses to open but they must follow strict new protocols for playing. According to the National Golf Foundation, more states are expected to follow the New York and California Governors decisions.
“The golf industry in Massachusetts is suffering irreparable financial consequences by continuing to keep business’s shut down without good reason,” said James Hardaway, a retired golf club general manager. “Playing golf has an almost zero probability of spreading the contagious disease.”
If you were out on the highways today you can see that Bay States residents are getting restless since there was noticeably more traffic. Dunkin Donuts’, liquor stores and grocery stores have steady flow of patrons.
Seems that the mainstream media have given a free pass to Mr. Baker when it comes to answering tough questions like:
Will an extended shutdown destroy the Massachusetts economy?
What are the measurable benefits of a shutdown?
How many deaths have been prevented by the shutdown?
How many business’ will be permanently closed because of the government decision to shutdown?
Why are public employees not being furloughed or laid off from their jobs?
If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 isn’t the recovery rate 98 percent?
Why is golf banned in Massachusetts?
Push has come to shove to get a wake-up call through to Mr. Baker. And, that is the specific goal of Joe Marin, a staunch golfer and businessman from Franklin, who four weeks ago started an online petition using Change.org, collecting over 27,000 signatures.
“It’s fact that golf can be played with proper social distancing,” said the Franklin Country Club member who sports a 7 handicap, while playing over 70 rounds last year. “I want to play golf and so do thousands of other golfers in the state. I want fresh air and exercise and will comply with all CDC guidelines and enforce certain restrictions just as golf is currently played safely in 38 other states.”
“It doesn’t make sense to me that golf is banned here when you compare the risk involved in going to a crowded Home Depot or Costco,” added Marin. “We’ve gathered almost 30,000 signatures as proof to show the Governor that it’s a mistake to ban golf. When the weather starts getting warmer, I really think Governor Baker is going to have a civil revolt on his hands. A lockdown on golf is wrong.”
Marin said when he reached out to Mass Golf for help, they blew him away. Mass Golf claims to be an effective proponent to allow golf courses to open up again, while at the same time writing a letter to its 87,000-member base that they fully-intend to comply with the Governor’s ban and there is nothing else they can do. There are many golfers perturbed with Mass Golf, who haven’t had a communication with its membership since their last letter dated March 23.
Governor Charlie Baker is digging a hole to financial ruin for the golf industry and for the entire Bay State economy. Baker must reverse direction today! Since he is incapable of making good business decisions, he should immediately delegate the responsibility and permission to reopen business to the local city or town hall.
Heather Mac Donald is a brilliant author and expert on American policing and law enforcement. In an article titled “The Deadly Cost of Extended Shutdown Orders” she writes: “The focus on saving ‘just one life’ from the coronavirus to the exclusion of all other considerations likely will prove a catastrophic failure of policymaking. The devastation to individuals’ ability to flourish or even survive may soon become irreversible.”
LET US GOLF MR. BAKER!