Kern County residents find creative ways to play sports while social distancing


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – With almost all of the gyms and athletic facilities in Kern County closed to curb the spread of COVID-19, people are still finding ways to pursue their sporting endeavors while employing social distancing.

Yesterday, we told you about Melvin Lee, who may have demonstrated the ultimate way to play it safe. He was playing frisbee golf all by himself.

“You have to keep your distance,” said Lee.

So we were left wondering, what other sports can you play while maintaining your social distance?

How about tennis?

“We’re just trying to do something here that’s good for us and, yet, not beharmful to anybody else,” said Bakersfield resident,” Chuck Beatty. “We are keeping our distance and we are trying to practice being safe.”

Beatty and his doubles partners decided to play it double safe. 

“We really don’t get much closer than six feet,” said Beatty. “They don’t touch the tennis balls. And when the balls get picked up, they just knock them into a corner, and then I picked them up.” 

Young Trieu and his family were playing pickleball on the other side of the court. A kind of abbreviated form of tennis suited for all ages. 

“We have stayed home for the last five days, and you think that there must be a balance somewhere,” said Trieu. So we had to think of somewhere to exercise and not jeopardizing the safety of others.” 

The Trieus used wet wipes to wipe down their rackets and made sure to keep their social distance.

Kenny and best buddy Bruce Hatton, who’s been playing golf together at North Kern Golf Club for 23 years, altered their routine to keep each other safe. 

“We keep a distance and still play and have a great time, and we are doing it. It’s wonderful,” said Hatton. 

Along with keeping a distance, many at North Kern Golf Course drove in single carts and avoided touching any common areas, such as the flagsticks.

So for these Kern County folks, whether it’s the teeing it up or serving the ball, they say you have to think twice when around others. 

“This is a time where it’s not all about us. We’re trying to, you know, to be more cautious for the other person. And we may be okay, but you don’t ever, you know, know what that other person’s situation is,” said Beatty.

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