Question of the Week

The new normal

With the COVID-19 coronavirus creeping into many aspects of our daily life, what type of changes are your local course making?

For the forseeable future, our daily routines will be different as a result of the coronavirus. And that includes at your local golf course. Let us know what is changing as a result of the new normal.

Please email your response to editor Stuart Hall. In order to publish, please include your first and last name, along with your city and state of residence.

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Here at our winter season club in southwest Florida, several changes have been implemented on the golf club side of our community:
— No more than four people in pro shop at one time
— All social post-golf group events, wine dinners, entertainment are cancelled into mid April
— Formal dining room and bar area closed, though take out/easy foods are available from the grill room area, if one calls ahead
— Card rooms closed, Men's & Ladies locker rooms/toilets still open, and serviced frequently with cleaning techniques several times a day
— Range still open, with balls, but club racks, et al. are removed
— All bunker rakes removed on course. Odd to me ... bunkers are thoroughly raked by machine and hand early each morning.
— Sand bottles at the four toilet stops have been removed. Sand is available for personal reloading near club. All ice/water machines are inoperable, and no cups, et al. available.
— A PVC collar has been placed in each hole cup to allow ball to go into cup, but to not drop fully into cup, maybe half deep
— Tee times vs. the usual high season daily shot guns, so mingling or group interaction is prevented
— All golfers ride in their own personal cars solo, and members without personal carts ride solo in the rental carts
— Cart staff is sanitizing touch points of rental carts before and after each cart use
— We continue to play as frequently as we wish, though we practice no touching anyone's ball/equipment, or each other and keep our distance. It is a solo game, but the reduced and distance interaction is odd to say the least.
— This club practices very rigorous score posting — scorecards must be submitted, scores posted and HDCP cross checks. Card submission is suspended and we post to GHIN online.
— The social side clubhouse, a separate facility, with pools, Har-Tru tennis courts, large dining and social facilities is completely closed.

We are all adjusting, but many of us still play a few times a week for the fresh air/sunshine/social/camaraderie experience. We are grateful the management has kept the course and our ability to get out and chase the ball with friends, available.

Odd and concerning times we are all in. I wish everyone safe journey, health and good luck through this period.

David Pheatt
North Venice, Fla.

Our club did the following:
— Range: every other stall
— One to a cart. Cleaned before and after
— Cups upside down flag stays in
— No ball washers
— No rakes in bunkers
— No water on course. Available in pro shop.

As a walker, I sanitized before and after, shower at home upon arrival. Still a good walk and a bit of sanity in this difficult time.

Dave Reynolds
Roseville, Calif.

So far, the only change our 5 courses are making are no shotgun starts. Tee times only.

Sharon Ellis
Fairfield Glade, Tenn.

I live in Sun City, Hilton Head, S.C. As of today, March 24, our three courses are still open with the following changes:

— Pro shop closed.
— Check-in at bag drop.
— Indoor and outdoor rest rooms closed.
— All food services suspended.
— Green fees charged to community association card unless you have an unlimited golf plan, then there is no fee involved.
— One person per cart, four carts allowed per foursome.
— Driving range and chipping areas closed.
— Cups and lids removed from ice/water machines.
— Rakes removed from bunkers.
— Ball washers are to be removed.
— Filled bottles removed from teeing areas.
— Flags are to be left in at all times; cups are to be raised up.

There are also personal things a golfer should practice, like no sharing of clubs, balls, etc. Not sure how much longer our courses will be open, but my friends and I are playing as often as we can.

Phil Boyle
Bluffton, S.C.

One local public course has closed the pro shop and set up the desk for payment behind a window. Person there is wearing gloves. Entry to the restroom is one person at a time and all food is ordered outside and, of course, take out only.

Mike Wells
Aiken, S.C.

My friends and I have a 9 a.m. tee time, Thursday, at our local muni. The golf courses in Oregon have been able to remain open. The course has closed the pro shop with a booth or some such set up to check in. Only two people can check in at a time, credit card only. The course has removed the rakes and ball washers, and the cups are raised an inch above the greens.
However, Oregon is in lock down, so even though the course is open, I risk a misdemeanor and fine for driving there. Haven't figured that one out yet.

John Marshall
Portland, Ore.

Just received email notifications this week that three of the daily-fee golf courses in my area are closed due to COVID-19 .

For the last two weeks, the weather hasn't been the greatest — cold and wet — so I'm sure there hasn't been a lot of play. But basically three of the five closest options are now — they say — closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. I'm thinking that had we been able to get out and play in better weather, they may not have decided to close.

Duane Ragland
Chicago, Ill.

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