Golf and COVID-19: Latest news on course operations
UPDATE June 5, 3:40pm ET: On June 5, the vast majority of public golf courses are open around the country. GolfNow reports 5.4% of their partners are closed. NGF estimates 98% of total golf courses in the United States are open.
There have been some loosening of state regulations that have had an impact on golf. Delware's mandatory quarantine for out-of-state visitors was lifted on June 1st, meaning out-of-state golfers can now play there. The same goes for Rhode Island, which also now permits non-state residents on its tee sheets.
In Illinois, as of Friday, golf courses may now book foursomes and permit golf carts and also open their driving ranges and practice facilities. In Michigan, two riders will be allowed per cart starting June 8th.
The golf business across the U.S. is certainly dealing with a "new normal." Our very own Tim Gavrich is chronicling these changes in a two-part longform series on Golf 2.0.
Some of the country's largest cities have still been cautious about opening their municipal golf courses. New York City's 15 municipal golf courses, including Trump Ferry Point, remain closed at this time. The Bethpage State Park golf courses however are open. The country's third largest city, Chicago, has kept its eight Parks District golf facilities due to stay-at-home orders. (View the full list).
Washington D.C.'s three golf courses, operated by the National Parks Service, are beginning to reopen. Langston Park and East Potomac reopened on May 29th. Rock Creek reopened on June 5th.
In California, San Francisco's golf courses are reopen under heavy restrictions. Most have raised cups. At TPC Harding Park, it's twosomes only, while Palo Alto's Baylands Golf Links is only allowing singles.
One bright spot for large cities is Los Angeles. Their city-operated golf courses have gone to mandatory advanced reservations, bookable online, and instituted 12-minute tee time intervals at all of their courses. Despite this, rounds are up year-over-year.
We're tracking course-by-course openings in each state here. Find and view a course near you to see its status.
VIDEO: Tucker on status of UK & Ireland restrictions, and U.S. muni updates
Latest golf-related coronavirus news
• Ohio events including Memorial, Marathon will allow spectators
• New normal at Honolulu muni Ala Wai, others
• Golf World: Inside look at America's surging desire to get back to golf
• Suburban Chicago golf courses celebrate busy month
• Scotsman: Guidelines for Scotland golf course reopenings
• WATCH: The GolfNow Industry Report by GolfNow for June 2
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. In the U.S. as of June 1, there are 13 locations open. To view by location, click here.
- (6/1) New York City golf courses devastated by prolonged closures
- (5/30) Non-residents will be permitted to play Delaware golf courses on June 1
- (5/29) Central Oregon resorts and golf courses reopening
- (5/28) Illinois golfers allowed to play in carts and foursomes beginning May 29
- (5/25) We Are Golf Phase 1 grand delivers over $4 million to golf industry
- (5/24) Shackelford: We're out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and push carts
- (5/23) NOLA's Audubon Park golf course closed indefinitely, future uncertain
- (5/23) USGA: with maintenance budgets reduced, 5 ways golfers can help take care of the course
- (5/22) WaPo: Coronavirus makes golf courses an oasis for stir-crazy Americans
- (5/22) City of Chicago golf courses remain closed
- (5/21) Strong demand for northern Iowa golf courses this spring
- (5/20) Golf courses are thriving in social distancing: CantonRep
- (5/18) District of Columbia's three golf courses remain closed
- (5/17) Golf Business Magazine UK: Some golf courses in Wales are already reopen
- (5/16) Live golf with a different look returns to Seminole
- (5/15) Canada's golf courses aiming for touchless experience as they reopen
- (5/14) Shackelford podcast with NGF chief on COVID-19 response
- (5/10) Ireland's 5-phase plan to reopen golf
- (5/9) NPR: Yelling 'Fore', but two at a time
- (5/9) Clubs in Europe reopening but grappling with new rules
- (5/8) Michigan golf courses are now allowed to use carts
- (5/7) City of Dayton closing to golf facilities permanently
- (5/3) Daily Mail: UK courses hope to reopen by May 15
- (5/2) Alberta courses permitted to reopen May 2
- (5/1) High demand in Washington as courses finally set to open
- (5/1) Morning Read: Golf scrambles to adjust to new world order
- (4/30) Golf returns to Philly on spectacular weekend
- (4/29) New Mexico golf courses can reopen using social distancing guidelines
- (4/29) California Bay Area courses may reopen Monday
- (4/28) Bay Area counties relax social distancing guidelines, opening door for golf return
- (4/27) Alberta golf courses hoping to reopen soon
- (4/26) NYTimes: Guerilla golfers are sneaking onto closed golf courses for their fix
- (4/25) North Idaho golf courses told to limit play to state residents
- (4/24) Shut-out Pennsylvania golfers find fairways in Ohio, West Virginia
- (4/23) Travel Weekly: Golf resorts optimistic for quick return
- (4/22) PGATour.com: Walking makes a comeback, pushcart sales soar
- (4/22) Morning Read: With creativity, Golf Courses could thrive after Coronavirus
- (4/22) PGATour.com: Walking makes a comeback, pushcart sales soar
- (4/21) Ventura County, California, lightens restrictions and permits golf
- (4/20) The Golf industry must re-imagine old practices for it to recover, writes Mike Dougherty
- (4/18) Golfers hopeful their state will reopen golf courses soon, following other states
- (4/17) Star-Tribune: Sold-out tee times and happy golfers in Twin Cities
- (4/15) Pellucid Perspective on state of the golf industry, April 2020
- (4/14) Latest NGF insights on COVID-19 impact to golf industry revealed
- (4/14) Who qualifies and how to apply for the Golf Emergency Relief Fund
- (4/13) Toledo mayor reopens city courses but only to Ohioans
- (4/12) USGA unveils fund to aid state golf associations
- (4/11) Beaumont Country Club opens doors to public as a general park
- (4/9) Bloomberg: Many courses are open despite social distancing mandates
- (4/7) Forbes: Whether golfers can play depends on mandate language
- (4/6) Despite state mandate permitting golf, Florida destinations vary greatly on course openings
- (4/6) Texas Governor closes courses but opens door for walking
- (4/5) Citing bad behavior, Nevada governor closes golf courses in new order
- (4/4) Dr John Torres: NBC News Correspondent on pro golf return this summer
- (4/3) San Antonio bans playing golf on public & private courses with new order
- (4/3) Iowa golf courses open to state residents only
- (4/3) Maine Governor orders golf courses closed until May 1
- (4/2) Dunn County allowing golf members to play despite Wisconsin state mandate
- (4/1) Are Colorado golf courses allowed to open? No statewide answer in stay-at-home mandate
- (4/1) Honolulu mayor orders privately-owned golf courses to close as well
- (3/30) Ohio reverses previous ruling shutting down golf courses
- (3/30) USGA: What happens if you don't maintain a golf course?
- (3/28) Pinehurst auction announced to support employees
- (3/25) Orange County, Florida institutes Stay-at-Home order. Golf Courses exempt
- (3/25) Office of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers confirms golf courses are included in non-essential
- (3/25) Connecticut State Golf Association (CSGA) confirms courses may remain open with restrictions
- (3/24) Bandon Dunes announced on March 24 they will close until April 6
- (3/23) In South Florida, Miami-Dade and Broward counties have suspended operations at their golf courses