Anyone who has to travel at this time knows how uncomfortable it can be to take a plane right now. In the United States, the situation is even worse, as the acute phase of the Covid-19 emergency is still ongoing. It should come as little surprise, then, that some people rely on alternative means of transportation.
Like golfer Viktor Hovland, who is following the PGA Tour by car.
Over 40 hours on the road
Since PGA Tour events have resumed, Norway’s Viktor Hovland has been living off energy drinks. In fact, these sugar and caffeine concentrates are the only way to stay up all night driving after a day on the green. Not exactly the healthiest approach to sporting events, some might say, but that doesn’t seem to touch the good Viktor.
The 23-year-old has so far traveled over 5,000 km on the road and driven over 40 hours. All this to follow the PGA Tour without taking a single plane. This is no small feat, considering the number of events he attended between June and July, scattered throughout the U.S. states and sometimes even on days close together.
To date, the worst time seems to have been the trip from Colonial Country Club to Hilton Head Island: nearly 2,000 km in 16 hours of driving, almost all done in the dark. Interviewed on the subject, the young man stated that: “couldn’t see much and couldn’t hear very well.” Strange.
Fortunately, it appears that he will face the PGA Championship without RedBull in his veins. On the occasion of his first major, it seems he will venture to take a plane so as to arrive as fresh as a rose.
All the fault of Covid-19?
It would be easy to assume that Viktor dove into this venture because of Covid-19. As mentioned at the beginning, aircraft are in the crosshairs at this time. In spite of safety regulations, spaces remain cramped and the chances of getting sick are all too real. This would not be so strange if Viktor had decided to avoid the root of the problem.
The strange thing is that Viktor did not embark on the venture because of Covid. The pandemic certainly helped him overcome the last of his resistance, but it did not push him to make this decision in the first place. According to him, he decided to drive because it felt better. In short, when you move by car your schedule is more flexible, you can stop to see the places that interest you, take a little vacation.
Besides, he likes to drive.
To pass the time, he kept himself company with some podcasts and, when he wanted something a little more energetic, with some good metal music.
A trend gaining momentum
It may be that Viktor Hovland did not opt to go on the road because of Covid-19, but that was not the case for others. In fact, the fear of the pandemic touched many of the participants, who immediately ran for cover to expose themselves as little as possible to the infection.
Those who could afford it rented a private jet, solving the problem of check-in lines and the Covid problem in one fell swoop. Everyone else opted for the cheaper trip on four wheels. For example, C.T. Pan and his wife decided to follow Viktor’s example, taking advantage of it to travel the most scenic roads. Like them, many others.
To be fair, on-the-road trips to follow the PGA Tour should not seem so strange to us. After all, until the early 1980s that was how a large part of the Professional moved. Those were times when airliners still cost a lot, too much for those just starting out.
So strength and courage: if the old glories have made it, there is nothing to fear.