The novelist James Thackara in a long-ago interview in The New Yorker said the following: “My mother’s highly intelligent, a Phi Beta Kappa [America’s oldest society of academic honours] with a degree in history, but she’s also a person who gravitates naturally to golf clubs. A mixture of the very innocent, the very puritanical and the very worldly.” You wouldn’t find many people describing Donald Trump as either of the first two of those.

Last week, Joe Biden, who is hugely likely to be the man who seeks to oust The Donald from the presidency of the United States in November, went on the offensive – about Trump and golf. The Democrats (Trump is Republican, as I’m sure you know) released a short video which showed both Trump playing golf – apparently his round on May 25 was his first in 76 days – and medical staff working feverishly in hospitals. The text read: “Nearly 100,000 Americans have died. {It’s now past that mark.] The death toll is still rising. The President is playing golf.”

Many non-fans often say that golf does not have a good look. It really couldn’t get much worse than this; the contrast between doctors and nurses in the coronavirus crisis trying to save lives, the leader of their country doubtless improving his lies.

Away from the White House, too, golf is limbering up. On May 17 we had the Rory & Co show in aid of Covid charities from Seminole. The following Sunday, Tiger and Phil took to the soaking fairways of a different course in Florida for more fundraising frolics. And on Thursday week we have the resumption of the PGA Tour at the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Club in Texas.

The tournament, and the three that follow it at least, will be staged behind closed doors; no spectators. Even so, there will be about 1100 people involved on site in putting on this production. Don’t ask me to explain; not much more than a quarter of these will be players or caddies. Apparently only 400 of those present will be getting tested. I am a golf fan and I am looking forward to watching some genuinely competitive golf. On the other hand, I don’t want to see anyone have to be wheeled off for treatment to the 19th hole (which will not be open for its traditional purpose, of course) because they might have contracted Covid-19. Which could be another very bad look for golf.

The statistics are pretty much a moveable feast right now (not that moveable feasts are permitted) but 20 of the 50 states in the USA had seen an increase in infections last week. This is not getting better in a hurry. A White House model (not Melania) estimated there would be at least an additional 30,000 deaths across the country by August. I noted in my last blog that Rory McIlroy had said at the Players Championship in March, before it was aborted after one round, that just one infection at a tournament would mean “we would need to shut it down”. If that happened next week, when might anyone be ready to try for a restart all over again?

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