UNLIKE many sports around the world, golf is one that has been able to resume, amid restrictions, during the coronavirus pandemic
This has come as music to the ears of Milton's Kelsey Bennett, especially as she started the year on fire, recording a number of strong results all over Australia.
"Before lockdown, I was really happy with how I was playing," Bennett said.
"I had not long come off the four tournaments in January which were Women's Australian Master Of The Amateurs (seventh), Australian Women's Amateur Championship (fifth), NSW Amateur (second) and the Avondale Amateur (27th).
"I was in the middle of the 2020 women's major pennants for St Michaels Golf Club, where we had made it to the semi-final but we didn't get to play due to the lockdown."
As disappointed as Bennett, who also made appearances at the Bonville Women's Classic and Women's NSW Open at Dubbo this year, was to not be able to finish that pennants tournament, she also welcomed the break, as she had just sustained a fractured heel - keeping her off the greens for three weeks.
"My fractured heel was actually not too bad because the lockdown had already started," Bennett, who missed four months with a knee injury at age 13, said.
"Once I had the x-ray, I was told to just rest it - which obviously came at a good time.
"During this time, I was doing was some putting and chipping on the carpet at home.
"The toughest part of it all was mentally.
"All the uncertainty around the world, on top of me not being able to play and train, definitely made for an interesting time - one I'm now stronger from."
Once the former St Johns student returned to fitness, she stepped straight back into the sport - which was only shut for a couple of days in April.
"I returned from injury in early April - it's been awesome being back out there practicing every day and playing in the local competitions," the Mollymook Golf Club product said.
"In saying that, the sport is quite different than pre-virus.
"We can only play in fours (up from two from Friday) but aren't allowed to take the flag out of the hole.
"There's also a sponge in the bottom of the hole so your ball doesn't fully go in to prevent too much contact around the hole, while there are no rakes in the bunker.
"Some of the restrictions are lifting though, so hopefully it's not long before things are back to normal."
The 20-year-old has been using the extra training time, with no tournaments, to tweak certain aspects of her game.
"I am very happy and thankful I can still play during these tough times," she said.
"The mindset has been preparing myself for when tournaments are back on, meaning it's a good time to work on the technical stuff with the swing.
"Especially as I'm not currently working at the Chatswood RSL, I have a lot more time to reinvest into the weaker areas of my game - which I normally wouldn't have had the chance to do.
"I am also using this time to complete my HSC, so I'm able to play for Golf Australia."
With all Golf Australia sanctioned events cancelled until after June 30, Bennett is keeping her options open to what she will turn her attentions to next.
"Generally, this is a quieter time in the Australian circuit, meaning I'm not missing too many competitions," she said.
"I'm looking forward and working out which tournaments to play at the end of the year - with me keeping a particular eye on the Victorian Amateur and Dunes Medal."