I found no golf balls today.  On most days when the March weather in the Coachella Valley is sunny, I find about 2 balls for every mile I walk.  Today, I walked five miles and found no golf balls. I have been walking or running this route for the last seven years and there has never been a day that I found no golf balls. I have found them in the rain, after floods and on 110 degree summer days. But today, I found no golf balls.

I have learned over the years of picking up errant golf balls that the number of balls found is a good indicator of the number of tourists in the valley.  I found no golf balls today because of the Coronavirus-induced decision to cancel the BNP Paribas tennis tournament. Some of those visitors would have played golf and hit their balls over the fence where I would surely have found them.

No golf balls, no cars

As I was coming to the realization that there may be no golf balls, I cut through a parking lot at one of our local hotels.  It was a medium sized hotel with 154 parking places.  There were only 16 cars in the parking lot. Cars are an indicator of tourists and tourists are an indicator of golf balls that will be found.  I found no golf balls today.

We are all impacted by the cancellation of the BNP Paribas tennis tournament.  I am paying a very small price in finding less golf balls. Many companies and people are losing far more than that. I wish I had found a bag full of golf balls today.  That would mean that the first week of the BNP Paribas had drawn a record crowd and the people of the Coachella Valley were reaping the benefits.

This will pass and we should be stronger from the lessons we can all learn from this. Next year will be better.