Golf and COVID-19: Latest news on course operations
UPDATED July 30th, 2020 — This week, the PGA Tour has two events, both fanless, on the schedule. The WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis as well as the Barracuda Championship in Truckee, California at the Tahoe Mountain Club's Old Greenwood Golf Course.
The LPGA returns to action this week with the Drive On Championship at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. The LPGA has dealt with COVID-19-related suspensions since January when their tour was in Asia. On March 12th, their US schedule was suspended.
On July 29, the USGA officially announced that the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot near New York City will be staged without spectators. This follows suit with the PGA Championship scheduled for next week. The Masters has not made any recent announcements about whether fans will be allowed No. 12-15.
As of July 30th, GolfNow reports 2.2% of their partner facilities are closed. While COVID-19 cases are surging, it has not significantly impacted golf course operations nationwide, though some cities such as Austin, Texas have closed their municipal facilities. Austin revealed over the weekend that they will reopen their five municipal golf facilities on August 8th.
Quarantining for interstate travel is still prevalent, most notably in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut area. Travelers from 31 "hot COVID-19" states must self-quarantine for 14 days upon entry into any of these state. Hawaii just extended its mandatory 14-day quarantine for all visitors entering the islands of Hawaii through August 31st. State authorities there are making arrests on offenders.
In the latest GolfNow Weekly Industry Report, Gary Williams shares which U.S. markets are hottest in rounds played, as well as other sectors in the industry that are poised for growth.
VIDEO: GolfNow Weekly Industry Report for July 28
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.