#2020: A look back at the unforgettable pandemic season
3 min read

#2020: A look back at the unforgettable pandemic season

#2020: A look back at the unforgettable pandemic season

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — What is there to say about #2020?  Annus Horribilis!  

One year ago at this time, the Dragons were charging into our second decade with yet another outstanding tournament schedule.  Dragon Cup champ Mike Gui was to open his club title defense at the the private Tournament course at Coyote Creek.  Poppy Ridge was the NCGA “poppy” in the rota, and Lake Merced GC was once again hosting the June tournament and Weekender Team draft. We were heading down to Monterey for Weekender 2020, at  Bayonet & BlackHorse. Baylands was to host us in the dog days of summer, before we close out the season at two of the hardest courses in our rotation -- The Bridges of San Ramon and Eagle Vines.

But something called SARS-CoV-2 was about to knock everything off course. Not long after the annual Chinese New Year’s dinner, a sumptuous prime rib affair at San Mateo Prime, the Coronavirus was making its way to these shores.  

On February 29, 2020, the first COVID-19 death was recorded in Washington state.  By March 2, Sonoma, San Mateo and Alameda all reported their first cases.  Large gatherings were starting to be banned — from 250, to 50, down to 10.  Finally, on March 16, 2020, six Bay Area counties went into lockdown, effective at midnight March 17, 2020.  The fear was palpable, so much about this virus was unknown.  The Dragons GC board, which included a couple of physicians, made the call to cancel our 2020 opener that day:

Our season did resume at Poppy Ridge in May of 2020, but given our new reality, the schedule had to be curtailed out of abundance of caution.  We decided to provide as many outings as we can for our members, with a single flight of net prizes, but we had to suspend our Dragon Cup and Match Play Bracket competitions. The Weekender at Bayonet and BlackHorse was called — we could not travel, nor stay at hotels given the public health advisories.  The club tradition of gathering after each tournament for a social and awards (you must stay to win, as you know, out of respect to all of your fellow members) had to stop, and scoring was done “virtually” through photos of scorecards to tournament directors Peter Lyu and Jon Chiu, as we shot our scores and scattered after golf.

From May through August, as restrictions started to ease, we managed to get together and play Poppy Ridge, Lake Merced, Coyote Creek and Baylands. But COVID 19 would force a premature end to our season:

A brutal third wave of infections hit the Bay Area hard late in 2020 — San Francisco County even restricted golf to twosomes only.  But there was light at the long COVID tunnel, as vaccines were authorized, and going into the arms of Dragons, like Dr. Danny Nam here:

And the newfound popularity of golf, as the perfect socially-distanced sport, was something to celebrate.  Golf clubs were flying out of stores, and tee times were getting hard to secure. Dragons kept playing and some like Jeffrey Shih had banner years:

And so, here’s to good health and good times back on the golf course in 2021!  The Dragons GC is working on a great 2021 schedule, look for details in your email inbox shortly!