With Much of America Now Closed, Golf Courses Remain Open

Golfers are being asked to social distance while they play

Golf is the one recreational sport that hasn't been asked to close its doors yet. (Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty)
Golf is the one recreational sport that hasn't been asked to close its doors yet. (Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty)
By Evan Bleier / March 25, 2020 9:49 am

While gyms, yoga studios and most other recreational sports facilities in the U.S. are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, many golf courses across the country remain open. Most have enacted social distancing guidelines and are asking players to do things like rake bunkers with their feet and leave flagsticks in holes to cut down on potential exposure, but there is still a tendency for greens and tee boxes to become crowded at times.

Other distancing measures include requiring players to prepay for their rounds online, restricting carts to one person at a time and closing down clubhouses and golf shops.

“I do think that golf is a relatively easy sport to socially distance while playing,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told The Associated Press. “I do think that social distancing is important but I also think that some activities can be modified to limit exposure.”

Though some courses did experience a surge in play earlier this month, hundreds of golf facilities closed or indefinitely suspended play on their courses over the weekend, according to The New York Times. While that’s a disappointment for golfers, it may be a good thing for staff members who no longer have to risk exposure to the coronavirus by washing carts or performing other tasks. Also, staffers with kids will no longer have to make the choice between going to work or putting their children in pricey daycare facilities.

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