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Here’s something I thought I’d never say: “Thank God for golf.”

 It’s not that I dislike golf, it’s just that I’ve been golfing for about eight years and I’m horrible. Golf may be the only thing you can do for nearly a decade and seemingly get worse.

 Still, I enjoy being at the golf course. The scenery is great. I love to be outside, plus, let’s be honest, I’ll take any excuse to enjoy an adult beverage before noon while riding around in a golf cart.

 Golf meant more than ever this spring and summer for so many because it was one of the few activities allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Once stay-at-home orders were lifted, a round of golf provided a sense of normal in a year that is anything but. Turns out a lot of people needed that sense of normal.

 An article at cited a 14-percent increase in rounds played in June year-over-year, according to Golf Datatech’s report. From the article, “Because people tend to play a lot of golf in June in any year, this translated to 7-8 million more total rounds in 2020 than in 2019. When combined with a slight uptick of rounds in May (+6.2 percent), a strong June turned forecasters more bullish about total rounds for the year. Based on current trends, 2020 could actually see about the same number — or even slightly more — total rounds than 2019, despite the coronavirus.”

 Perhaps more importantly, what golf also did this year was allow nonprofits to raise much-needed funds. While most fundraising activities were canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, thanks to the nature of golf (it takes place outside in wide open spaces) golf outing fundraisers were able to continue.

 Of course, there were tweaks made here and there to keep everyone safe, but for the most part, golfers could play a round, enjoy a day on the course and raise funds for a favorite cause.

 That was the case for the View Lady Classic, an all-women’s golf outing presented by McLaren Lapeer Region, which celebrated its fourth year on Aug. 13. Two weeks ago our team proudly presented LACADA (Lapeer Area Citizens Against Domestic Assault) with a check for over $15,000, which was raised at the event. Since the outing began, it has raised more than $63,000 for LACADA.

 Tri-County Times editor Sharon Stone shared a similar success story in this paper regarding the annual Brad Stone Summer Classic golf outing at Fenton Farms Golf Club. Started in 2000 in honor of her late son, this year’s event profited $12,000 and has generated two separate scholarships totaling $225,800 for students throughout its 20 years.

 In a year when event organizers could have easily said, “let’s just skip it,” that didn’t happen. Instead, people got to work to find a way to make it work on the golf course. That paid off big time for a lot of nonprofits. Those are wins to be celebrated.

 Also to be celebrated? Any time I can use “win” and “golf” in the same sentence.

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