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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

William Land Golf Course sees boom in play time during COVID-19 pandemic

graphic created by Tony Rodriguez/[email protected]

Golfers have played William Land Golf Course, the small nine-hole golf course neighboring City College, since it opened in 1924. Nearly a century later, as many local businesses suffered negative impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic, the course has provided golfers an outdoor activity with easy-to-achieve social distancing.

“The golf course probably did about twice [the business of] what it normally does in 2020,” said the course’s Head Golf Professional Curt David. “Other than a few [days of] raindrops, the course has been busy every day.”

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In fact, David said, the course — which opened two years before Sacramento Junior College did across Freeport Boulevard — saw many new players trying out golf for the first time.

“The course in 2020 did over 57,000 rounds, which is the most the course has ever seen,” said David. “We’re continuing to stay as busy as possible.”

Though golf already socially distances players, David said he and his team implemented additional safety protocols for the course.

“Currently we only allow one person per golf cart, unless they live in the same household,” said David. “We’ve been very fortunate in these times that we have an outdoor activity that people are not only staying 6 feet apart but also a sport that people are gravitating to.”

Will Comstock, a second-generation golfer at William Land Golf Course, agreed.

“I’ve played way more [golf] this last year,“ Comstock said. “You can get outside, you can socially distance, and you’re getting some exercise in … [but the course has] been a lot busier.”

Will’s father, Tim Comstock, began playing the course in 1953. An author and former dean of students at Sacramento State, Tim, 74 golfed at William Land into his late 60s.

“I love that place and I have memories that go back a long, long time,” the elder Comstock said.

Tim Comstock recalled that he spent many years at the course caddying for Max Baer, a former world champion heavyweight boxer. Baer’s son, Max Baer Jr., is known for playing Jethro Bodine in the 1960s TV show “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

“I had a lot of fun,” said Tim Comstock. “It’s where I learned how to play golf. It’s just a wonderful place.”

The Comstocks aren’t alone in their appreciation of the course. With the increased interest from golfers over the past year, David said there is less concern for financial struggle at the course. He said it has provided memories for many people and plans to welcome new golfers by hosting seasonal activities.

While the COVID-19 shutdown was unexpected, it provided the Land Park neighborhood golf course with a spark of life in troubled times.

“It’s like a shot in the arm, with free marketing and advertising that we’ve gotten for the whole last year, ” said David. “It keeps us busy.”

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