Michael Hanson for The New York Times
As recently as a week ago, recreational golfers flocked to the fairways of public and private golf courses as a respite from stay-at-home guidelines and lifestyle prohibitions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Golf, with its wide open spaces, still seemed safe.
In New Jersey’s Somerset County, the five municipal golf courses recorded 6,501 golf rounds in the first 19 days this month, a 300 percent increase over the number of rounds played in all of March last year. A similar surge in play, with players observing social distancing and other limits on close interactions, was happening all over the United States.