Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Hates Golf!

McGolf Driving Range in Dedham has been closed by order of the Governor since March 17, a total of 71 days in the peak of the golf season resulting in a devastating financial loss, while marking the first time McGolf has closed in over 40 years.

BOSTON, Mass – Since May 7 when Massachusetts became the last state to lift a ban on golf that lasted 45 days, we’ve witnessed Charlie Baker stumble-and-bumble his way through a real-life crisis, and instead of managing in an emergency, he has created an economic catastrophe.

His somber daily diatribe consists of reading the death count, the coronavirus confirmed cases, contact testing, PPE this-and-that and an assortment of dramatic tales that emphasize he knows what’s best for all of us, because he is grabbing power that makes him King of the Commonwealth.

Throughout this predicament, what I find most troubling is talking to small business owners who are at the mercy of this Governor, the person solely responsible for their total financial devastation. This man feels no pain and for 70-plus days he has never even walked into a Home Depot, to see first-hand hundreds of people shopping under one roof. The dude is tone-deaf when it comes to allowing business owners and citizens of the Commonwealth to apply their own common sense when it comes to safety.

Why does “Baker the Bloke” treat us like we are dumber than “Mickey the Dunce”?

McGolf Driving Range has been ready to open with all new safety precautions in place since April 7, including a video found on their Facebook page advising customers of the new safety regulations, but Governor Baker has ignored requests to consider driving ranges to be open.

In no particular order, this Governor has inflicted irreversible financial pain on restaurants, churches, nail salons, health clubs, dentists, tennis clubs, schools, day care centers, all of us self-employed, to golf pros and driving ranges.

If you’ve had an opportunity to listen to Baker’s scripted daily press briefings, two things are crystal clear: First, he squirms when asked a tough question which the mainstream Boston media rarely does. Imagine Baker facing a gallery of hostile White House media? He would either cry or melt like warm butter.

Second, Baker has a habit of freezing, acting shocked if a reporter asks a golf-related question. It is obvious that he despises with a passion anything whatsoever to do with golf, even though it’s a sport played by millions outdoors and safely every day across the nation, and in fact, 35 states never closed their golf courses.

Last week three people mentioned to me that they wished they played golf, because they are bored silly with government overreach into their lives, and golf is an outdoor activity that is safe. There’s still one major problem with Golf’s Grim Reaper – Governor Dumb-Dumb has not allowed driving ranges to open.

Driving ranges at golf courses and those operated by small-business owners remained closed throughout the Commonwealth, despite the fact most states have reopened, but the Governor is starting to feel the heat and anger.

We are eleven-weeks into this virus problem, that has killed over 6,500 people – with an average age of 82 – and only 78 people under age 50. Some driving range owners and golf industry figures are piping mad at the Governor for yet another unnecessary delay, when driving ranges are deemed safe in all bordering states and almost all 50 states. Looks like the Commonwealth will be last to open, again.

“Golf has proven to be a safe recreational activity not only in Massachusetts, but throughout New England. We have seen that golfers can remain socially distanced at facilities with 10-minute starting times and while utilizing practice facilities,” said New England PGA Executive Director Michael Higgins on the NEPGA Facebook page. “I think it is time for golf to be deemed an essential business in Massachusetts and the guidelines need to change to reflect that.”

Maine announced the opening of practice areas and ranges this week. The restrictions have lessened in every state surrounding Massachusetts and requests from the Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) have continually been denied. AMGO has been presenting the Governor’s staff with facts and examples that the stringent restrictions need to be lifted as soon as possible.

“There is no justifiable reason for popular outdoor recreational activities, including golf driving ranges, to still be closed,” said Mass Fiscal President Paul Craney. “The Governor’s failed reopening plan should not be about him picking winners and losers. Why are driving ranges open in almost every state but not Massachusetts? Apparently, the Governor is picking them to lose even though it is deemed safe. Golf ranges need to be opened as soon as possible.”

A note to customers on the Facebook page of popular North Shore Driving Range “Sun ‘N Air Golf Center.”
To Our Valued Customers,
Today is Thursday, May 7th and there has been significant news from the State House regarding the golf industry in Massachusetts. At this time, many positive steps have been made that effect our industry as a whole. Unfortunately, today’s determination to re-open golf courses does not include stand-alone golf driving ranges and practice facilities.
Though we are encouraged and expect these new stipulations to change soon (which could be at any moment), Sun ‘N Air is still required to remain closed at this time. We have been working diligently behind the scenes and putting new protocols in place so that when the time comes we will be ready to go!
As always, the safety of our customers and staff remains at the forefront. It won’t be long now, but in the meantime please remember to practice social distancing and remain safe. We look forward to seeing you on the range really soon!
Sun ‘N Air

When you have a Governor, who hates golf as much as Baker, name-calling probably doesn’t help solve the problem, but let’s be honest the gentleman is lacking in accountability and rational decision-making. It took him seven week’s into the public health crisis to decide we need masks. Duh!

“The lack of consistency of Baker’s policies from one industry to another is mind-boggling,” said an angry suburban golf pro who requested his name not be used. “I can’t open my driving range or golf shop, but I can go get a haircut where someone is less than a foot away from my face.”

The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) is dedicated to promoting and serving the interests of the game of golf and the golfers in Massachusetts. Members of AMGO include Mass Golf, New England Section of the PGA of America, Connecticut Section of the PGA of America, Northeast New York Section of the PGA of America, New England Golf Course Owners Association, Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England Golf Course Superintendents Association of Cape Cod, Golf Course Superintendents Association of New Hampshire, Golf Course Superintendents Association of Rhode Island, New England Chapter Club Management Association of America, New England Golf Association, New Hampshire Golf Association, Vermont Golf Association, Rhode Island Golf Association, Connecticut State Golf Association, Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund and PGA TOUR.

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