On Sunday afternoon sports fans gathered on patios across Ohio to watch the return of live golf and the NASCAR season. Many said it was a perfect combination: fresh air, seeing people face to face, and once again the ability to use sports as a brief escape.
“It’s nice to just see anything on TV, soccer in Germany yesterday. Empty stadiums, but I’ll take it,” said Isaac Smith.
He is sports fan who got up early with some buddies on a Sunday to get in a round of golf before watching the pros.
“We are excited to get back to watching anything, really,” he said. “Just like to see good golfers instead of myself.”
“I had no idea how much I watched sports at home until I had nothing!” said Krissy Austin who is the head golf pro at the Golf Club of Dublin. “I think so many people that’s a part of their life, whether it be your favorite football team, favorite college sport, favorite whatever. It’s just a feeling of normalcy and I think everybody is a little bit ready for some of that right now.”
Golf fans were not the only ones with some fresh competition to watch as NASCAR moved from away from virtual racing to getting back into the cars for “The Real Heroes 400” at Darlington. In New Albany, fans went to the patio at The Goat to sit outside and get a distraction that has been missing.
“Everything is kinda opening back up you know with social distancing,” said Cameron Trott.
He came with his friend Trace Kelly.
“Figured we would come out here, have a few beers, watch the race and enjoy the day,” he said. “It’s nice, we’re happy to have NASCAR back or just a sport in general.”
Austin said she hopes with sports returning it will encourage people to get out to restaurants, bar patios, and in her case golf courses.
“Golf on TV is just going to get the bug going again. So yeah, I’m looking forward to it,” she said. “I think everybody is excited to get back outside. I mean everybody has been cooped up long enough and I hope everybody feels safe enough to come out and see us here.”