Golf and COVID-19: Latest news on course operations
UPDATE May 26, 1:20pm ET: This Memorial Day weekend, nearly 90% of public golf courses were open, according to GolfNow data, which reported 10.8% of their partner facilities closed due to COVID-19.
Recent CDC guideline revisions have indicated that coronavirus does not spread easily on surfaces, which may lead golf course staff to reassess their current social distancing measures, in particular rakes and flagsticks.
Clubhouses and pro shops are still closed in most parts of the country and that could have an effect on merchandise and equipment sales at golf courses in a peak spring buying period. In the latest Golfer Sentiment Weekly Tracker by NBC Sports, 50% of avid golfers would currently consider shopping for golf equipment online, but that drops to 33% at an off-course store and 26% at a green-grass shop.
On a state regulation front, Massachusetts golf courses are now permitted to rent out golf carts (must be single-rider unless both golfers are from same household). Their northeast neighbor Delaware also just announced non-residents will be permitted to play golf in the state beginning June 1.
We're tracking course-by-course openings in each state here. Find and view a course near you to see its status.
Latest golf-related coronavirus news
• NOLA's Audubon Park golf course closed indefinitely, future uncertain
• City of Chicago golf courses remain closed
• Shackelford: We're out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and push carts
• USGA: with maintenance budgets reduced, 5 ways golfers can help take care of the course
• WaPo: Coronavirus makes golf courses an oasis for stir-crazy Americans
• WATCH: The GolfNow Industry Report by GolfNow for May 19th reports incredible strong booking figures coast-to-coast in the U.S.
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
Is Topgolf open?
Topgolf closed all of its locations in the U.S. and U.K. on March 18th. Oklahoma City location is reopen, and a wave of locations are scheduled to open on May 18, including Orlando, Atlanta, Phoenix and Jacksonville. To view by location, click here.
Pro golf tour schedule updates (April 16)
Competition has been suspended on the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and European Tour
• The PGA Tour has released a proposed and amended 2020 schedule that would return at the Charles Schwab Challenge on June 11 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Click here for the latest details.
• The European Tour has canceled all events through June and is eyeing a July restart.
• The LPGA has announced its intentions to resume the schedule in mid-July.
• (5/2) Alberta courses permitted to reopen May 2