Golf and COVID-19: Latest news on course operations

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 28: Golfers play at Knightswood Municipal golf course as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirms that the country’s lockdown restrictions are to be eased, on May 28, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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

Golf Central Update: Notable restrictions for playing golf abroad

Latest golf-related coronavirus news

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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.

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