Golf and COVID-19: Latest news on course operations

LA PAZ, MEXICO - JULY 30: Hostess gives sanitizing gel to a client at Puerta Cortes golf club on July 30, 2020 in La Paz, Mexico. Many Mexican States remain in orange emergency while in some cities, positive cases for Covid-19 are increasing, the alert could change to orange in few day if the numbers continue rising. Mexico has now over 390,000 confirmed cases and over 44,000 deaths. (Photo by Alfredo Martinez/Getty Images)

UPDATED November 23, 2020 — Golf courses in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland continue moving in opposite directions when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions.

When the UK went into lockdown six weeks ago, golf courses in Northern Ireland stayed open. That will change Friday, Nov. 27, when Northern Ireland's courses close for two weeks because of an executive order.

Meanwhile, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson just unveiled a new "tougher" tiers program that allows some reopening of businesses Dec. 2. That includes golf, according to Sky News, and eventually fans at sporting events.

Back in America, the final golf major championship of 2020, the U.S. Women's Open, will take place next month in Houston at Champions Golf Club. The LPGA and LET announced last week that the Solheim Cup will move to even years beginning in 2024. This means the event will be played back-to-back years in 2023 and 2024.

Surging positive case counts and hospitalizations in the U.S. are raising concern. New Mexico is the first state to order a closure of outdoor recreational facilities since this spring. The order is in effect Nov. 16-30.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered new lockdown measures, and on the west coast, California, Oregon and Washington have announced new restrictions in concert that prohibit non-essential, out-of-state travel and an order for residents to stay local.

There was more optimism on the COVID-19 vaccine front, as a third drug-maker announced a vaccine, the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine. SkyNews compares the three candidates, including Moderna and Pzifer, in this article.

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

Headlines archive

Western Mass. courses booming thanks to weather
Cedar Rapids plans to repurpose closed municipal course
President-elect Biden announced COVID-19 task force
Ka'anapali scraps redevelopment plans
Golf Clubs in Ireland to close a second time amid pandemic
New York Times: The Art of letting go and getting into golf
Deegan: Golfers got better during the 2020 pandemic
Best year in a long time for Western New York golf courses
Guardian: Course turned into park and now no one wants to leave
Portland's Broadmoor Golf Course closes after 89 years
Minnesota golf operators say 2020 was 'crazy busy'
Tucker: New invention proposes rakes in golfers' bags
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 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

Pandemic set to give Texas course best year ever

Endwell Greens Extends Closure To Entire Facility Due To COVID Cases

Bozeman Business Boom: Why more people are teeing it up at local golf courses during COVID-19

Possible COVID-19 exposure at Wisconsin Rapids golf course

Heritage Oaks Golf Course temporarily closes

Local golfers still playing around coronavirus threats

Albuqurque courses experiencing huge rounds increases in 2020

Vail Resorts decides to close Michigan's Mt. Brighton Golf Course permanently

67 employees at Georgia club test positive for COVID-19, closes club

Rabid demand at Aspen Golf Club as tee sheet books out in 3 minutes

Jack Nicklaus reveals he and Barbara had COVID-19 in March

Hanover Country Club closes after 121 years

Northern Michigan course closed due to employee's positive test

Meriden, CT courses doing record rounds

PGA Tour: No fans, Pro-Ams for rest of 2020

Record rounds reported on Utah golf courses

California's Elkins Ranch closing permanently on Labor Day

Colorado's Keystone Resort only operating one of two courses this summer

What it's currently like playing golf at Pebble Beach Golf Resort

Members pitch in to save Scotland's Brora Golf Club in 2020

Planning a golf trip this summer? Here are 10 things to consider

These top-rated golf courses still haven't reopened

High-quality muni golf coming to D.C. featuring Hanse, Doak and Welling input

First PGA Tour player tests positive at event

NGF: Military, municipal, casino courses still not open

Atlanta-area course will turn into a public course every Tuesday

• (6/13) Yale Golf Course closed until the end of July

•(6/12) Furor over continued closure of New York City golf courses
• (6/8) Tee time intervals are wider, but rounds booked still up YoY

• (6/7) R&A launches £7 mllion COVID-19 relief fund for golf courses

• (6/7) Ohio events including Memorial, Marathon will allow spectators

• (6/4) New normal at Honolulu muni Ala Wai, others

• (6/4) Scotsman: Guidelines for Scotland golf course reopenings

•(6/3) Golf World: Inside look at America's surging desire to get back to golf

(6/3) Suburban Chicago golf courses celebrate busy month

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