Golf and COVID-19: Latest news on course operations
UPDATED September 29, 2020 — Enthusiasm for playing golf continues to be impressive heading into October on the mainland United States. Early reports from various outlets suggest another record-breaking month when September wraps up.
Hawaii has been a rare state that hasn't enjoyed the lift of mainland states due to the state's 14-day quarantine for all out-of-state arrivals in places for the entire summer. Good news for golfers as cool weather creeps in, however: travel without a 14-day quarantine will be allowed beginning October 15. It can't come soon enough for many golf courses and resorts that have either been closed or have significantly reduced operations. Click here for Golf Advisor Sr. Managing Editor Brandon Tucker's update on what the latest guidelines mean for golf travel to Hawaii.
It appears at least one famous course in Hawaii won't make it to the tourism reopening. Ko'Olau Golf Course, the infamously difficult Oahu facility, will cease operations on September 30, according to a report by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The 240-acre facility is owned by the First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu, who told the paper course staff had asked to terminate the lease early due to COVID-19.
Golf courses were not on the essential activities list in March when the state went into its first lockdown and all but a handful of defiant privately-owned courses complied with the ordered and suspensed play. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell issued a second stay-at-home- order August 23 which also did not have golf on the exempt list, and many courses, including Oahu's municipal courses, closed a second time.
For now, many Hawaii golf courses remain temporarily closed or are operating on a limited basis until demand picks up once tourists begin to arrive once more. Travel to Hawaii in August was down 98% year over year.
Watch the latest GolfNow Industry Weekly Report for September 29:
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
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