Golf and COVID-19: Latest news on course operations
UPDATED October 27, 2020 — It's the last week of October in 2020 and northern golf courses have been hit by an arctic cold front that has blanketed some Midwestern states in snow and brought bitter cold to many areas of the country. Some courses are shutting down for the season and taking stock of their record years in rounds played. Scroll below to our news module to see links to articles chronicling high demand in Minnesota and New York.
GolfNow reports that .4% of their North American partners are closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but that number has risen in the United Kingdom to 13.1% due to recent mandates for courses to close.
Wales, Ireland courses closed for 'circuit-breaker lockdown'
Last week in Wales, golf clubs were ordered to close on October 23 for two weeks as case counts have increased in the country. Wales Online reports the country has ordered all fitness and leisure facilities close until November 9th. Shortly after, the Irish government announced Level 5 restrictions, the strictest level, to be set in place for six weeks. These restrictions do allow schools to remain open and elite sports like GAA and Ireland soccer to continue. However, new clarification from the government indicates that golf courses must close for the full six-week duration.
As for North America, the US-Canadian border closure has been extended until at least November 21st. This stands to impact southern U.S. golf destinations like Arizona and Florida who rely on a steady stream of sun-starved Canadian golfers in the wintertime.
According to GolfNow, only .4% of their North American partner facilities are currently closed.
Watch the latest GolfNow Weekly Industry Report for October 27
Is your golf course open? We are compiling the latest news on city, county and statewide shelter-in-place declarations and social distancing measures and how it relates to golf operations. The following Google spreadsheet has our latest news of city, county and statewide golf course suspensions or reopenings.
How to play golf safely during the COVID-19 pandemic
Many medical experts believe that golf is one of the safest activities you can participate in during the current outbreak as long as you take proper precautions. These include social distancing with the other golfers at the course and in your group, not sharing a golf cart unless it is with an immediate family member you live with, not shaking hands after the round and not socializing in the clubhouse afterwards. US governing bodies revealed new "Back 2 Golf" guidelines on May 5th that share best practices for golf course operators and players. See their recommendations here.
Golf Course Operators
• Two Hawaii courses close permanently due to pandemic
• Most successful year ever for 50-year-old Jasper, Ind. course
• Villages in Florida allows flagsticks to be removed for putting
• Popular English course to close this fall
• University set to close golf course Nov. 1
• St. Kitts & Nevis to reopen borders Oct. 31
• Cruise industry 'optomistic' to sail by the end of 2020
• Stats say 'optimism' rising for holiday travel
• NGF: Industry leaders on sustaining golf's COVID-19 bump
• WaPo: Golf had its best summer in decades
• Hawaii set to welcome back tourists on October 15
• Golf Datatech: Retail sales up 32%
• "You can bring a bag full of White Claws" - golf hot amongst women, young people (Yahoo Finance)
• WATCH: The GolfNow Industry Report for Sept 29
• Illinois receives $5 million donation for golf course
• Cleveland.com: Exceptional golf summer in northeast Ohio
• Tokatee spared thus far in Oregon fires
• USGA announces second Golf House in Pinehurst
• Delaware's Rookery North Announces permanent closure
• Denver's City Park Golf Course officially reopens