CSGA (June 1, 2020) It has been too long coming. But tomorrow, June 2, the 2020 Chris Cote One Day Series kicks off at Wethersfield Country Club.
Due to continuing caution over COVID-19, play will be in threesomes, with one player to a cart. Flagsticks will be equipped with ball-lifters that allow players to retrieve holed shots without touching the flagstick.
The first of 14 single-day tournaments this year has a full field of 111 and a sponsor that returns this year despite a very difficult economic environment that included a shutdown of in-store sales for much of April and May.
“It’s been the longest two months of my retail life,” said Chris Cote, whose four stores and driving range are now open, with COVID restrictions. “But the One Days are great. It’s amateur golf and I love amateur golf. Honestly I think if you had 40 of them they’d be filled. We love them. It’s our way of trying to grow the game and do what we can.”
The CSGA One Day series, a chance for recreational golfers to play some of the best courses in the state and compete in open and senior division categories both net and gross, has been around for more than fifty years, and this is the eighth year that Chris Cote’s Golf Shop has sponsored the One Day Player of the Year Race and the second it has sponsored the series overall, providing some $4000 in store credit to POY winners. Chris Cote’s also sponsors the Al Acker One Day championship, which takes place October 20 at Shennecossett Golf Course in Groton. (This year, for the first time, the company will also be presenting sponsor of the Russell C. Palmer Cup, the CSGA’s premier stroke play competition, which will take place August 17-18 at the Country Club of Waterbury.)
“We are incredibly grateful for the support and loyalty of the whole Chris Cote’s team, especially in this very trying time,” said Marsha Rupp, Director, Women's Golf & Client Services, who oversees the One Day tournaments. “We share Chris’s desire to expand golf participation in Connecticut and the One Days are a great way to do that while showcasing many of the state’s best courses.”
CSGA Executive Director Michael Moraghan said, “Chris Cote’s Golf, both in their business and in their support for our events, represents everything that’s good and successful about golf in Connecticut. Chris continues to be a terrific partner and we thank him and his staff.”
As with the One Days, Cote’s golf operations now operate under very different rules from a year ago. “We are being very careful,” said Cote, “not only for customers but also for employees. We’re fully open, but it’s very controlled. One person at a time in repair, two fittings per hour, only so many customers in the store.” Cote opened his range later than when Connecticut DECD first allowed outdoor practice.
“We have plans for events—a tent sale, a junior night at the Top Tracer range in Southington, perhaps—but we’re being careful. We want to be safe and the concern is that in the fall it could happen again. We don’t want that.”
Earlier this year, as one of the company’s efforts to make the game more inviting to women, a goal Cote himself strongly supports, Chris Cote’s hosted the inaugural CSGA Women’s Open House.
The enthusiasm around this year’s One Day series, as evidenced by almost immediate full-field registration for not only the Wethersfield One Day but the second at Torrington Country Club on June 11, has appeared at retail as well, says Cote. “Business has been fantastic, honestly. In a weird way I think this has been good for golf. There is a lot of interest.”
Will that pent-up demand make up for what’s been lost in these past two months? That’s not possible, Cote says. “We might make up half of it, and that’s good. But not all. That said, to be positive—and I’m trying to be positive—I think we’ll come out of this leaner and stronger.”
The One Day Series continues after Wethersfield as follows, with registration opening approximately two weeks prior to each event:
June 11 Torrington Country Club (full)
June 15 Mill River Country Club
June 29 Oak Lane Country Club
July 6 Heritage Village Country Club
July 27 Manchester Country Club
August 7 Portland Golf Course
August 13 Southington Country Club
August 18 Indian Hill Country Club
August 31 Hop Meadow Country Club
Sept. 10 Lyman Orchards Golf Course
Sept. 16 Suffield Country Club
Sept. 21 Ellington Ridge Country Club
Sept. 28 Twin Hills Country Club
Oct. 20 Al Acker One Day Championship at Shennecossett Golf Course