“Golf has social distancing kind of built into it. And, according to the CDC, it's one of the lowest risk sports to be able to play and still get enough exercise."
“For many people who come out here, golf is their therapy. They use it to be mentally and physically in the right place. Also, for a lot of people that come out here, this is the main thing they do, especially our older patrons. You can just tell the joy on people's faces whenever they're able to spend a couple hours of their day out here, getting exercise in the fresh air, in the sunlight. It's something they really enjoy.
We closed the golf course right before the July 4 holiday because COVID cases were going up. We closed out of an abundance of caution. We reopened on August 15. Then we closed again January 1 when the numbers were climbing, just to be extra safe for our patrons and our city staff. We reopened on January 25 after consulting with the local health authority and putting in place a COVID contingency plan.
When the course wasn’t open, I would see some of our patrons out in the community, you know, at the gas station or the grocery store. They would say, ‘Hey Travis, do you have any word on when you might be able to open the course?’ I would say, ‘It's a day by day thing and we’ll open when we're able to. We’re just kind of taking it one day at a time.’
You know, they say you don't miss something until it's taken away from you. That's something a lot of people experienced with the golf course being closed a couple of times. People understood, but it was tough for a lot of people.
We've had a couple of things that we've had to do in order for it to be safe. For example, we have the cups raised. What that means is if your ball touches the hole, it’s considered in. So people are not having to touch the flag one after another. It's just a safer way to mitigate what's going on.
We’ve also spread out tee times to 15 minutes apart and four people per group. Prior to this, normally we would allow 10 to 12 minutes in between a tee time. So people are more spread out throughout the course. Golf has social distancing kind of built into it, to a certain aspect. And, you know, according to the Texas Medical Association and CDC, it's one of the lowest risk sports to be able to play and still get enough exercise. Our patrons have been very understanding about the tee times, group sizes, and rules.