“We just want to compete, we want the chance.”
This is a statement shared by both Trevor Norby, a graduate student from San Diego, California, who transferred from San Diego State University, and Alex Motes, a golfer from Sulphur Springs, Texas. Both sat down and gave some thoughts on the current season.
Norby gave his opinion on the current COVID-19 situation and how it affected his decision to return.
“I didn’t really care; I just wanted to keep playing,” Norby said. “I was planning on turning professional anyway, and if I can get an extra year of tournament golf and competitive play, not paying on my dime for entries and traveling fees, it was worth it.”
Motes shared the same sentiment.
“I was coming back anyway. I was a junior last year and coming back for my senior year. Going forward, I’m kind of leaning on the fence of not coming back because of some things I’ve got to get done, even though it has been pretty wonderful being here.”
Practices started the last week of August and not much has changed according to Norby.
“The only change is we have to have a screening online every day and get our temperature checked,” Norby said. “Basically we’re trying to be a little more socially distanced from some of the other athletes and students. But other than that, it’s basically just business as usual.”
Norby went further on the flexibility of golf in relation to COVID-19.
“It’s been a huge blessing for golf,” Norby said. “We’re outside, we can stay away from everyone else. It didn’t really affect us a whole lot. Back in California during the quarantine, they kind of turned everything upside down. It is what it is, and you have to do what you have to do, but at the same time it’s pretty easy to play golf away from everyone else safely.”
Motes, who works at a course in his hometown, gave some insight to the topic.
“I worked out on the course all summer and everything we did protocol wise [lasted] about a month and a half,” Motes said. “Everything kind of peaked hard and we had to step back and say ‘Okay, we have to start implementing a lot of [regulations].’ We can still follow protocol and keep everything fairly normal. That way people can enjoy the game they’ve been playing for so long.”
Recruitment was not a huge factor for the team, according to Norby.
“From what I understand, the NCAA kind of put a hold on recruiting when everything started happening, but mostly due to the fact some states were hit worse than others and [the NCAA] was trying to keep it fair,” Norby said. “We had a freshman coming in from Finland, but he was doing the mandatory military service. [Finland] was using the military to help fight COVID, so they kept him for a couple of extra months so he couldn’t come in during the fall. A couple of girls on their team are from Sweden, so they can’t come back until the spring.”
Morby also spoke on the issue
“We’ve had no issues getting guys in from the [United States], and the guys from Mexico and Argentina came in just fine,” Morby said.
Norby explained some of the changes in tournaments for the upcoming season.
“I know a couple of tournaments have switched from the normal 36 and 18 hole rounds to two 18 rounds,” Norby said. “Some have switched from three days to two days just to reduce risks. [Tournament organizers] are also discussing changing the grouping from switching groups round to round to keeping it the same to reduce interaction. Some have discussed where the team plays on their own, and then it’s up to the coach to keep everyone honest.”
Norby finished with some of the changes and problems that he felt needed a remedy.
“We all get tested before we go. What happens a few days later if a person in the group starts showing symptoms? You can’t leave them at the place you’re staying at and drive them back in the van. I don’t really know what’s going to happen, but I don’t really care about the risks. I just really want to play. This is my last year and [Motes’] last year, too. I know I’m at greater risk due to my past medical history, but I don’t care, I just want to play.”