With the minor-league season in jeopardy and teams scrambling to find new ways to bring people to their ballparks, the Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs are transforming their Hadlock Field ballpark into the “Hadlinks Golf Club” for four days in July.
The coronavirus pandemic has made it extremely doubtful that any minor-league baseball will be played this year, leading teams that do not have big broadcast contracts and are much more dependent on ticket sales and other fan-generated revenues to scramble to find new ways to bring people to their ballparks.
The Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs of the Eastern League have announced that they will invite fans to come to the club’s Hadlock Field from July 9 to 12, when the ballpark will be transformed into the “Hadlinks Golf Club,” NewsCenterMaine.com reported.
Through a promotion sponsored by the local Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, the ballpark will have nine target-style holes with flags, NewsCenterMaine.com reported. Around each hole, a circle with a six-foot diameter will be painted, and each hole will also lie in a larger “green” area also marked with spray paint.
Golfers will tee off from nine platforms on the ballpark’s Skybox level, NewsCenterMaine.com reported. Scoring for their shots will be: in the cup, one; in the six-foot-diameter spray-painted circle, two; on the “green,” three; on the field outside the green, four, and in the stands or anywhere else, five.
Players will only be permitted to use a 7-iron, 8-iron, 9-iron, or wedges, NewsCenterMaine.com reported, and get two shots per hole. The cost to play will be $30, and tee times can be made and paid for online. Players will also get a Sea Dogs golf towel and three Sea Dog-logo golf balls to take home.
The Sea Dogs say social distancing will be in effect, and no more than nine people will be playing at once, NewsCenterMaine.com reported. The flow of people from hole to hole will be set up so they don’t pass each other, and golf balls will be collected and sanitized after each use.
Golfers are being asked to arrive 10 minutes prior to their tee time to check in and proceed to the first hole, NewsCenterMaine.com reported. Those who wish to play with family members or friends are asked to book consecutive tee times and follow each other through the course while observing social distancing. Only one golfer is permitted per tee time.
Hours for play will be 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 9; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 10; and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sunday, July 11-12
“Really for us, it’s just staying connected with the community,” said Geoff Iacuessa, the Sea Dogs’ President and General Manager. “[It] gives community members another opportunity to come to the ballpark and create a fun memory.”