September 13, 2002
A few days after the September 11, 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a member of the press asked President George W. Bush this question:
“Sir, how much of a sacrifice are ordinary Americans going to have to be expected to make in their daily lives, in their daily routines?”
President Bush responded, “Our hope, of course, is that they make no sacrifice whatsoever. We would like to see life return to normal in America. … But we hope, obviously, that the measures we take will allow the American economy to continue on…. It is important for America to get on about its life.”
Based on what happened on Cape Region golf courses on September 11, 2002, it appears that many Americans are now taking Mr. Bush’s advice.
Sheila McCall handles the customers at Old Landing Golf Course, on Old Landing Road. She said that business at the long-time public course was about as brisk as the breezy conditions. “We have mostly members playing, but that’s just because of the wind. Otherwise, business is normal for this time of year. We really haven’t seen any drop in the number of people out on the course otherwise. I think people went on with their lives, and are just moving on.”
At Heritage Golf, on Postal Lane, Les Wilson said, “Business was not bad at all today. There was some wind. I heard a few people mention September 11, but mostly about what was on the television.”
The Rookery Golf course just outside Milton stayed open last September 11, and didn’t really see any drop in business that day, according to assistant pro Mike Connor. This year’s business was “very similar to last year,” he said. “In fact, one group that played together last September 11 booked to play today just because they played together last year on that day. It’s sort of a memorial. Otherwise, it’s a nice, busy day here.”
Tony Hollerback at Baywood Greens said the popular Long Neck golf course remained a big draw for those seeking to play this past Wednesday. “We have at least 180 players today, and that’s not counting those who play Twilight Golf. It’s an awfully pretty day, and the golfers are here. We even have a firefighter group playing today, in fact. They’re from Staten Island.”
Jo Jo Barrows said that the action at Rehoboth Beach Country Club was a little light. “Wednesdays are traditionally a slow day around here anyway. We had our usual Ladies’ Day play, but otherwise it’s pretty quiet. We exchanged our usual flags at the golf holes with special U.S. flags, and they do look nice out there.”
At Shawnee Country Club, there’s a regular gang called the Ball Tossers. They play a form of pick-up golf tournament a few days a week. They were out again today, according to pro shop staffer Dick Douglas. “We had 24 of them this morning, and a few other pairs and foursomes, but otherwise it’s a bit light, considering how beautiful the day is. Of course, we just finished aerating the greens yesterday, so that will deter some folks from playing. Otherwise, it’s just sort of average.”
Walt Jones, the long-time owner of Midway Par 3 near Lewes, said, “We don’t have so many out today, but I have no way of knowing why. I don’t think it had anything to do with September 11, though. We had our regular members and some other players show up, but otherwise business is down a bit. We’re aerifying, so maybe that’s part of the reason.”
Of course, there are signs from last year’s momentous events at Cape Region golf courses, but one has to know where to look.
The many kinds of U.S. flags on display on the vehicles in the parking lots are a clue.
From my perspective, that’s an appropriate addition to the normal way of golfing life here.