CROMWELL, Conn. — For the past seven years Joe Mentz, the head pro at Goodwin Park Golf Course in Hartford had spent the third week in June at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell teaching kids the game.
This year, Mentz is back on his home course in Hartford, another casualty of the Coronavirus as no volunteers are part of the tournament or allowed on course. “I do miss it,” said Mentz, who usually sets up shop at the First Tee of Connecticut at the TPC River Highlands.
“I miss being at the Travelers helping the kids with either the Drive, Chip, and Putt or the PGA Junior Golf League,” Mentz added.
For the first time in nine years Ed Church, from Hartford, will not be driving a courtesy golf cart to shuttle around media members – or any golf official who needs to get from point A to point B.
“It’s sad we can’t participate,” said Church, who is also at Football coach at Hartford Public High. “I do it because I love volunteering, “ added Church.
Both Mentz and Church say the 2021 Travelers Championship can’t come soon enough and they will be volunteering once again.
“I’ll be the first to sign up,” said Church. Mentz added, “I’ll be there 100 percent, doing backflips and cartwheels!”\
Wednesday, PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan said there have been five players who have withdrawn from the Travelers Championship this week, Brooks Koepka, Chase Koepka, Webb Simpson, Graeme McDowell, and Cameron Champ. Champ tested positive for COVID-19. McDowell, Brooks Koepka, and Simpson withdrew because their caddies tested positive. Chase Koepka withdrew due to an abundance of caution.