Understandably, recreational golf is not a huge priority for the powers-that-be during the global coronavirus pandemic, but that has led to confusion among golfers as to whether or not they are allowed to head out to their local golf courses to enjoy some exercise while practicing good social distancing.
Furthermore, the business and maintenance of golf courses is the lifeblood and livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people around the country.
As such, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America have sent letters to government leaders around the country as it pertains to how vital this time of year is to courses. While likely not considered “essential businesses” at this time, the GCSAA warns that the upkeep of their courses, at the very least, are essential to them.
“Spring is a critical time for turfgrass,” the letter reads. “If turfgrass is lost, many courses may face permanent closure. Turfgrass cannot be neglected for extended periods of time.” The letter also cites that the decline of course maintenance could lead to vandalism and “the landscape and property of a golf course could become compromised, damaged or unsafe.” The letter indicates that proper maintenance also reduces the threat of “disease-carrying pests, including ticks and mosquitoes.”
As a means of sharing information that they have received from various state governments, the GCSAA has set up a webpage dedicated to golf course operations and maintenance openings and closings during the pandemic. The site warns that its state-by-state update is for “informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for your state’s official information.”
So far, 13 states — California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin — have specifically banned golf from being played, but if you live in a state with a stay-home order or a similar kind of directive and are wondering if you are able to play golf, the GCSAA’s state-by-state update is a great resource (that is updated daily).
Information updated daily at 5 p.m.