A life of regular golf rounds and practice sessions has brought me two constant companions in the form of calluses: one on the outside edge of my left ring finger and the other, on the inside edge of my right index finger. In feast times, they bulge and almost ossify underneath. Whith their torn outer layers they become little rugged, weathered dunes. I can understand the need for some golfers to tape their tenderest fingers to guard against the trauma of heaviest use. Absurd as it may sound to a non-golfer, those bumpy blemishes are a part of my identity. I cherish them. When I'm away from the course, touching them, acknowledging their presence, kindles happy memories of the game I love to play.
Lately, though, my calluses are as smooth and small as I can remember them being. My left-ring one still protrudes noticeably, the recipient of the harshest friction from my too-tight interlocking grip. The right-index one has receded almost to nothing, unperturbed by all the golf I haven't played in the last month-plus, as the coronavirus pandemic has closed many courses around me, including my normal haunt. Thankfully, that changes today, and I will take advantage of the opportunity to play safely this weekend.
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📷 No. 13: No pain, no gain⠀⠀ This #ETPhotoOfTheYear image was taken by @kristoffer_kotte_broberg of fellow Swede Alex Noren's hands after a particularly long practice session, the day before the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Noren is known as one of the hardest workers on Tour and has said before that he now often wears two gloves during practice to protect his hands from the effects of hitting hundreds of shots in a day.
If it isn't exactly subsiding, the situation seems to at least have stabilized to the point where several states' governors, previously guarded, have given golf a cautious "Play away, please (and keep your distance)." Hoping that the wise prohibition on post-round handshakes is temporary, it only seems right that we wait to indulge in that sacred golf tradition until all our hands, while clean, have been properly roughed up once again.