XENIA — Let’s play golf!
After signs of decreased Coronavirus COVID-19 activity in the county, Greene County Public Health (GCPH) officials lifted the stay-at-home order for the area’s golf courses in a formal letter posted on April 8.
Friday, April 10 was the first day golfers could return to the local golf courses.
WGC Golf Course General Manager Chris Goecke said he and his staff have made all the necessary preparations for the golf patrons.
“We’ve put lines everywhere to ensure that everybody’s separated. There’s an in-and-out type of thing here at the check-in window, so we’re trying to keep the golfers socially distant,” Goecke said.
Several guidelines were made to ensure the golfers’ safety.
In the statement, public Health Commissioner Melissa A. Howell said “…Greene County Public Health has noted 14 days of decreased reports for Covid-19. Fourteen days represents one incubation period for Covid-19. Greene County Public Health will allow golf courses to open in Greene County on April 10th, 2020. Non-essential operations will remain closed.”
WGC’s pro shop and restaurant were both closed for Friday’s opening.
In Howell’s announcement, GCPH outlined several guidelines that golf courses must adhere to in order to remain open.
Among these, proper social distancing of at least six feet among golfers, course employees and club members is required. Hand sanitizer has to be made readily available for all as well.
The golf carts cannot carry more than one person, unless the persons riding in the cart are all from the same household. And the carts, as well as any rented clubs or any other rented items, must be cleaned and sanitized after their use.
Tee times for the golfers are to be spaced further apart than normal, to ensure that golfers from different parties won’t congregate too closely together, and items such as flag sticks, ball washers, sand trap rakes, and even outside tables, are to be removed.
With the first day’s weather in the mid-40s, Goecke didn’t expect to see much business on Friday, but hoped to see the golfers return on Saturday, when the weather is expected to be in the upper 50s.
“Tomorrow we’ll be fairly busy, but Sunday’s probably going to be slow,” Goecke said. “From what we were hearing at a lot of the other golf courses, they were just packed today.”
The statement from Howell also stipulated that GCPH officials could come out and inspect the golf courses, to ensure that all safety measures remained in place at any time.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.