• 75°

Golfing provides a way to stay active safely

Kelsey Dill knows what she’s capable of accomplishing on the golf course and that has led to her continuing to practice even with the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dill is a senior at Pearl River Central High School and her performances for the golf team earned her a college scholarship with the University of Mobile golf team.

Like other athletes Dill has had to change her normal routines when it comes to working on her game due to the pandemic.

Not being allowed to participate in team practices means she’s spent more time by herself at Diamondhead Golf Course trying to keep her skills sharp.

Having access to an actual course allows Dill to work on most aspects of the game, but for golfers who don’t have the same facilities it’s not so easy.

“You don’t always have the same distances (at home) that a driving range would have, so you can’t fully practice all of your clubs. Say there’s a club you need working on, you may not be able to practice on that one (at home),” Dill said.

Dill is used to spending her time practicing and she’s tried to continue putting hours in on the course.

Spending time on the green means spending less time inside and more time away from unwelcome distractions.

“It gives me something else to think about and something else to do instead of constantly worrying about if we’re even going back to school,” Dill said.

While the course has remained open to members there have been some changes made to try and maximize cleanliness.

All golfers must remain 10 feet apart at all times, the holes have been turned upside down with the flags attached so golfers can grab their ball and go without touching the flag and there’s a limit of one person per golf cart unless the participant is with immediate family.

Such precautions are necessary in order to continue allowing golfers the opportunity to work on their game in a safe environment.

Dill said the changes have impacted the way she practices with other athletes, but for the most part the routine has stayed the same.

“Before all this started I was constantly practicing with friends at Diamondhead. Since we were together before this happened, we’ve still stayed together and just tried to maintain the 10 feet,” Dill said.

Not all athletes have access to the facilities Dill has at her disposal, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still practice. Dill said in times like these athletes have to get creative when it comes to maintaining their skills.

“For people who don’t have greens (to use) you can putt on a hardwood floor because it helps you learn how to putt with faster speed and how hard you need to hit the ball,” Dill said.

Until things go back to normal Dill will be left to wonder how her senior season would’ve gone.

After a successful start to the season, both individually and as a team, Dill said anything could’ve happened.

“I definitely had a shot at being a state champion coming and in first place. We had another shot at becoming a 3-time district champion. If all this hadn’t happened we would’ve had a good season,” Dill said.