OK, so this is the year you want to play golf. At least you are thinking about it. You’re not a pro, nor a beginner, but somebody in between. You’re a little shy, but not really — just unsure of going to an unfamiliar golf course with unfamiliar faces.

Here’s what to expect.

First stop, pro shop to sign in. Open at 7 a.m., Doug, Cheryl or Belinda will tell you the costs of a round of 9 or 18 holes, a punch card, price of rental cart and who can ride. If you need to rent golf clubs, buy a sleeve of balls, a glove or pick up a score card, Alpine Meadows has it. Forgot your socks? Got those, too. Shoes? No, the shop doesn’t sell footwear, but has several new, but older golf shirts for sale. There’s a practice green and a driving range. Buy a bucket of balls and go for it. The golf course welcomes you. Now’s a good time to get started or restarted.

We all agree COVID is still around, but the restrictions are more relaxed. In all seriousness golfers can still have some fun in the process.

As always, mask up to enter the clubhouse/pro shop. On the course, consider the mixed advice given by our scientist friends who say you don’t need a mask outdoors anymore if you are or if you aren’t vaccinated. But indoors, you should always wear one. Well maybe two. Three’s even better. Think about it.

Social distancing is still 6 feet apart, but it’s not difficult to maintain on AMGC’s wide-open fairways. Refrain from handshakes/high fives when you eagle, birdie or get a hole-in-one. Instead celebrate the feat at the clubhouse with the purchase of a cold one. Do not remove flag sticks to putt, but if your ball hits the stick and bounces away, pout a little. One person per cart except for approved pairings, but if your club car quits on the No. 7 fairway, it’s OK to hitch a ride. Again, you must play the sand traps. No free drops, and you’re responsible for footprints in the sand. Rake up.

Golf is crazy fun. Even on bad weather days Alpine Meadows is a nice place to be.

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Rochelle Danielson of Enterprise loves the game of golf and has golfed for many years at Alpine Meadows.

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