Daily golf helps gets Luka out of a hole

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Golf enthusiast Luka Sumich has played more than 900 holes to keep himself sane during coronavirus.
Camera IconGolf enthusiast Luka Sumich has played more than 900 holes to keep himself sane during coronavirus. Credit: Laurie Benson

As frustrating as some people find the game of golf, Luka Sumich says it has kept him sane during the COVID-19 crisis.

When the pandemic hit, the Albany retiree had the option of staying home to mark time or hitting the golf course — and his clubs won the argument.

Since March 27, his first game in “isolation”, Mr Sumich has played more than 900 holes at his beloved Albany Golf Club, including a run of 50 days straight.

While many have found it tough to remain active under the restrictions, the 68-year-old has just ramped up his golf habits.

Mr Sumich said golf had got him through a tough couple of months.

“I’m not one used to sitting around. I’ve been active my whole life,” he said.

Luka Sumich at the Albany Golf Club.
Camera IconLuka Sumich at the Albany Golf Club. Credit: Laurie Benson

“When the coronavirus started I stopped working my couple of hours at the bottle shop and there was nothing else to do, so it’s lucky the golf course was open.

“I’ve had depression and I know what it’s about. I did it for my wellbeing, golf is good for the mind.

“It was a way of getting out and getting rid of half a day, every day.”

As if in line with government restrictions, Mr Sumich started with single play, then doubles followed by three and four players as the pandemic progressed.

When playing alone, he used two balls on every hole and scored each accordingly .

Mr Sumich kept some statistics of his 50-round daily streak.

He made 18 birdies, spotted four snakes and lost 28 balls — including four off the tee at the 10th.

His best score over 18 holes was a respectable 87.

But all that practice has not done much for his game.

Golf enthusiast Luka Sumich just misses a birdie putt on the 12th.
Camera IconGolf enthusiast Luka Sumich just misses a birdie putt on the 12th. Credit: Laurie Benson

“It hasn’t improved but I’m more consistent now,” he said.

“I’ve played with a lady that is 83-84 and played with younger ones.

“Good on the golf club for doing a great job as well.

“At times it was lonely, peaceful and quiet, but I loved every minute of it — and it kept me sane.”

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