Who knew that golf would be such a hot-button issue during a pandemic.

There has been nothing but confusion about golf’s place during the COVID-19 pandemic and it all stems from Gov. Greg Abbott.

He gets a pass for not mentioning golf and golf courses in his original executive order, GA-14.

But, then confusion that followed falls squarely on his shoulders.

First, he says golf courses should be not be considered essential businesses in his conference call with local leaders.

Then, Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office attempts to clarify the governor’s stance by saying golf courses are free to stay open as long as they maintain strict safety standards.

That right there should have been enough for Gov. Abbott to issue an immediate statement that once and for all settled the matter.

But, he didn’t.

Sure, you could say he gave his blessing to the Attorney General’s clarification that was sent in the form of a letter to a state representative, but said letter was filled with legalese and may have done more to confuse golf course operators than it did to provide clarification.

Then, last week, on another conference call with local leaders, which included Beeville Mayor Frank Dominguez Jr., Gov. Abbott again broached the topic of golf courses, saying they could remain open as long no staff was present at the stations so as to avoid person-to-person interaction.

All that did was fuel the fire of confusion even more.

According to Dominguez, the governor did mention that he would be releasing another executive order — which the governor said was scheduled to be released April 27 — that would clarify his stance on golf courses as well as other sporting venues, such as tennis courts.

I have just one question: Why did it take so long to offer up a clarification?

The citizens of this state have been clamoring for a way to get out of the house and golf is one activity that could be used as an outlet.

Should golf be at the top of his list of priorities, obviously not.

But clearing up this mess shouldn’t have taken nearly a full month.

The golfing community — of which I’m a proud and active member — has seen numerous course closures over the past few weeks, all of which could have probably been avoided had Gov. Abbott just directly addressed this topic shortly after it was brought to his attention.

The governor’s new order will have been released by the time you’re reading this, but I’m remaining cautiously optimistic that it will actually give clear, easy-to-follow guidance on the topic of golf courses.

I’m also hoping that guidance is that golf courses can remain open because, for sake of my own sanity, I need golf.

And I know I’m not the only person in this state who holds that belief.

Kevin J. Keller has been the sports editor at the Beeville Bee-Picayune since 2014. He can be reached by email at sports@mysoutex.com or by phone at 361-343-5223, or you can follow him on Twitter @beepicsports.