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.
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.
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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