SUDBURY, Vt. (WCAX) On a sweltering May day in Sudbury, the Ketchum family is breaking out their clubs and hitting the links. But unlike most people, they don't have to leave their yard to do it.
"Got a lawnmower and I got some land and I cleared this out," said Shaun Ketchum. "My daughter Mallory made some flags and I cut some saplings for pins and we've been having a lot of fun with it probably since the first of April."
Shaun Ketchum says he hadn't played a round of golf in about two decades until his wife Vanessa and daughters Mallory and Caitlyn expressed an interest last year.
"Caitlyn and I and my mom had been wanting to try it, and my dad picked up some used equipment," Mallory said.
"I'm very new at golfing, I started last year," Vanessa added. "I'm very bad at it but I enjoy it, so this was an opportunity to get some kind of real practice in."
The family was excited to get back out this Spring...but obviously that didn't happen right away.
"Were really looking forward to this Spring, the courses were gonna open early in March. Things were looking good...and of course the pandemic hit," Shaun said.
With both daughters home from college and grad school respectively and the itch to get out on the course still there, the Ketchum family took matters into their own hands.
"We started playing out with a box walking around, putting it in different places and trying to hit the ball into it," Caitlyn said. "And then he mentioned bringing it down to our big pasture."
The result was a 5-"hole" course where the Ketchums hit plastic tubes called birdie balls and try to get them within four feet of the pin. It has made their yard the place to be in their neighborhood .
"You know we've even had a few friends come by, socially distant of course, and had little tournaments and it's been fun. Neighbors stop by, they say they want to come and try it. It's kind of a talking point on the road here," Shaun said.
Now that golf courses have been reopened, the Ketchums have been able to get out for a couple full rounds, but they still like to take advantage of their home course.
"Just an opportunity to do something. You know with the pandemic, there's not a lot open so you know just being able to get outside, compete with the rest of the family, we really enjoy it," Vanessa said.