Thank God: Mini Golf Can Reopen in Ohio This Month


May 21, 2020 at 4:28 pm

This afternoon, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted made what is possibly the most important announcement of this pandemic — while the governor's graphics team made what is possibly the most beautiful, innovative and impactful #Responsible RestartOhio slide of their career — to declare that miniature golf, batting cages and bowling are allowed to reopen in Ohio on May 26. 

Yes. It's true. The moment we have all been waiting for is here. You can stop holding your breath, wash your lucky underwear and forgo this evening's live animal sacrifice to the giant windmill putt-putt gods.

Sure, reopening retail was important. And yeah, allowing people back into restaurants seemed like a big deal. Saying we could return to hair salons, gyms, construction jobs, our offices and drop our kids off at childcare — all of that appeared to be stuff some humans might care about. 

But mini golf? Fuck yes. #Summer2020Lives. 

Is there anything more important than the crunch of astroturf beneath your feet, the smell of a hot neon golf ball as its coating vaporizes in the Cincinnati sun, the feel of a putter handle, sticky with the sweat and ICEE syrup residue of the hands of those who gripped its shaft before you? 


The state mandate says this sport can reopen as long as it can meet appropriate safety protocols. But does an essential sport, one so exalted among man, even need protocols? Is there anything closer to god than a hole-in-one, as managed between the legs of a giant T-rex? How can one social distance when one must give high-fives? 

Although there has been an increase of 731 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state since yesterday, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton says over the past 21 days, dashboard numbers by and large have remained plateaued. When asked by a reporter if that 731-person increase in 24 hours — a 50 percent increase since yesterday and the highest number of daily cases in two weeks — could be attributed to testing? A spike? She answered, "While I can't say anything about one given day, I certainly, and all of us certainly, need to pay attention to these numbers."

Worry that there is in an increase in cases after restaurants and bars reopened and people appeared to forget how to social distance? Worry that there is an increase after Gov. DeWine replaced many of his safety orders with strong recommendations for Ohioans to protect each other?

Thou shalt not, as long as DeWine continues to reopen the most important sectors of our economy. The real question is: Will roller rinks be next?

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