Golf and COVID-19: Latest news on course operations
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.
For the avoidance of doubt, new rules come in to effect from 00:01 on 2nd December, so shops, beauty salons, and indeed golf courses, can open on that Wednesday— Craig Tracey (@craig4nwarks) November 23, 2020
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.
COVID-19 does not stop at state lines. Our hospitals are being stretched to capacity.— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) November 13, 2020
To protect public health, @CAgovernor, @GovInslee & I issued travel advisories:
✅ Against non-essential out-of-state travel
✅ 14-day self-quarantine after returning to state
✅ 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
• 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
• Cleveland.com: 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