After a bit of confusion, it appears as though golf courses will resume opening this week.
Over the weekend, it was presumed that golf courses were among Governor Andrew Cuomo’s non-essential list. However, the state parks COVID-19 update page outlines that golf courses across New York are open for business.
Golf has been viewed as an outdoor activity that could be done safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing is built into the game.
Bunker rakes and ball-washers have been removed from courses. Many are operating on smaller staffs. However, maintenance personnel are continuing to work to maintain course condition.
Most courses that did close earlier this week say they will open by Friday.
Here’s a message from the New York State Golf Association:
The NYSGA has been closely monitoring all information and updates regarding COVID-19 and the impact the situation has on the golf industry.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York State on PAUSE Executive Order, which went into effect 8pm on Sunday, March 22. “All non-essential businesses statewide will be closed, non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason are canceled or postponed at this time, and any concentration of individuals outside their home must be limited to workers providing essential services and social distancing should be practiced.”
Clarification was provided by the Governor’s office and regional Empire State Development directors on how this Executive Order pertains to golf.
New York golf courses are allowed to remain open but must implement all CDC and state mandated guidelines, and promote safe, social distancing. There is to be no access to pro shops, locker rooms, indoor facilities and restaurants/bars (unless for take-out purposes only).
Social distancing on the golf course should include:
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others
- Don’t shake hands before or after your game
- Leave the flagstick in the hole
- Don’t use rakes, ball washers and coolers from course
- Don’t share clubs or any other equipment
- If using a golf cart, limit to one person
Due to the unique COVID-19 precautions taking place at golf courses, the USGA has provided guidance on how to use the flexibility provided in the Roles of Golf while protecting public health. They also provided temporary guidance on posting scores to GHIN (begins in upstate New York on April 15), specifically when golfers don’t “hole out” for health/safety reasons. Click here for more information
Updates From State & Local Government
- United States Golf Association (USGA) Green Section – COVID-19 Resources
- Club Management Association of America (CMAA) – Coronavirus and Pandemic Viruses
- Golf Course Superintendents Association of American (GCSAA) – COVID-19 Pandemic Resources
- National Club Association (NCA) – Coronavirus: What Clubs Need to Know
- National Golf Foundation (NGF) – Protecting Golfers and Staff Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
- National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) – Coronavirus and Your Golf Business