Your Guide: Golf Restrictions State-by-State During Coronavirus (Updated)

by Shelli Stein

Golf and the coronavirus isn’t a topic on many people’s minds. But I can assure you, being a golfer myself, we’re missing the links. Parts of the country play golf all year-round and in many places the golf season is just getting started. I had assumed, given the shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines across the country, that golf courses were all closed. And I was wrong. Really wrong. In fact, golf courses are open during coronavirus and golf is allowed in the majority of states.

Update: As states relax restrictions, more golf courses open and players take to the links. But what’s happening and what golfers are doing, as far as social distancing, makes for interesting reading!

It’s a complicated issue with states making changes and modifications every day. The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America has been monitoring the situation. They are keeping and updating a state-by-state list of where it’s still OK to play.

Golf course restrictions during coronavirus

Courtesy Wikipedia

Should Golf Courses Remain Open During Coronavirus?

There are many issues and ramifications of whether or not to close or limit golf courses.

  • Should golf courses be characterized as non-essential businesses?
  • Should golf courses be characterized as an acceptable outdoor activity with proper social distancing?
  • Can golf courses be maintained when there is a public ban on golf? Leaving golf courses closed without maintenance presents a whole bunch of challenges.

With state-by-state decisions on golf courses closing or remaining open, some golfers might be thinking of taking a road trip to a golf course open state. That’s tricky too. Several states are requiring non-residents to self-quarantine for a stretch of time (typically 14 days) upon arrival or even disallowing short-term rentals (like a condo for a golf trip, for example). Heading across state lines for golf might not always work the way you think it will.

Don’t forget, there are state executive orders, but county and city rules may actually supersede state rules. Of course, checking with a golf course specifically clears up the open or closed question in the most direct way.

Golf course tropical setting

Courtesy Flickr

Final Thoughts

I’m glad to see that even in the states banning golf, golf course maintenance is allowed. This means grass will be maintained, vandalism will be kept at bay, and the threat of disease-carrying pests will be minimized. If you’re in a state that has its golf courses open and you’ve played golf, let us know what it’s like out on the links right now!

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DaninMCI April 19, 2020 - 3:44 pm

I live in Kansas and have played once. I’m not sure why golf courses shouldn’t be open but then again I don’t see any hazard (pardon the pun) in walking alone on a beach. Basically, the current hype has given random groups of people power of opinion to try and control or destroy things they hate for whatever reason. Hate rich people, make them give us their money. Hate cruises, no one should ever go on a cruise again they are “Petri dishes of disease”. Hate golf, it’s “non-essential” and no one should go because we’ll all die. I had a grocery store clerk tell me that her 5 and 8 year old’s are upset because the city parks in our small town are closed but she is glad because they need to stay indoors. I advised her that the parks aren’t closed, just the playgrounds. It’s crazy and people are as crazy as the lady I spotted coming out of the home improvement store wearing a mask with a 40-pound bag of birdseed. Risked her life for birdseed. Or the elderly couple in the grocery store, together, both of them, wearing gloves, masks, etc. If I was that afraid I would make sure only one of us went into the store. People have lost their minds. Standing far apart walking 9 or 18 holes of golf is very safe, safer than tennis even.

Shelli April 19, 2020 - 6:55 pm

Don’t disagree with anything you’ve expressed, Dan. You’ve shed light on microcosms of perception and how differently both those making policy and those observing policy behave. Thanks for taking your time to comment.


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