Golf courses allowed to reopen across New York

Local News

Privately operated courses, including semi-private and daily fee courses, are allowed to open with social distancing provisions

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Privately operated golf courses around the state will be allowed to reopen after a revision to Governor Cuomo’s NY PAUSE executive order.

“Privately operated” golf courses does not limit the courses allowed to open to just private courses or country clubs. Privately owned golf courses that are semi-private or daily fee courses are allowed to open as well.

The executive order was updated yesterday and the section on golf courses was revised. The executive order now reads- “Golf courses are not essential and cannot have employees working on-premise; notwithstanding this restriction, essential services, such as groundskeeping to avoid hazardous conditions and security, provided by employees, contractors, or vendors are permitted and private operators may permit individuals access to the property so long as there are no gatherings of any kind and appropriate social distancing of six feet between individuals is strictly abided”.

The New York State Golf Association received clarification of the new language and posted the following on their website. These guidelines to open up a golf course were approved by the state.

  • There can be no employees working at the recreational component of the golf operation with the exception of security personnel.
  • Security personnel can be delineated by each club (ex. a pro and the head starter) and will be present to enforce social distancing.
  • No access is permitted to club facilities including but not limited to the clubhouse, pro shop, bag room, and locker room.
  • No caddies. No golf carts (except pull carts), you must either carry your own bag or use a pull cart.
  • All golfers must maintain proper social distancing at all times, this is mandatory, no exceptions.
  • Allowing guests is to be determined by the security personnel on the golf course.
  • Maintenance personnel are permitted to work on the golf course.
  • Clubs are strongly advised to provide a printed copy of the new guidance to security personnel, as local law enforcement may come to a club and may not be aware of the new guidance.

The multiple changes in the rules for golf courses have been a saga for Rochester golfers, to say the least.

Golfers were treated to an early spring that allowed many courses to welcome more golfers in March than at any time in recent history.

On Sunday, March 22, golf courses were closed when they were not deemed essential business by the initial executive order. Later that week, courses opened back up and were allowed to operate with social distancing provisions. On April 9, courses were closed once again after they were explicitly listed in the list of non-essential businesses.

If golfers can maintain proper social distancing provisions, hopefully, the next time golf courses are closed will be when winter comes in November.

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