S. Burlington Wednesday, April 8th
Golf courses fall under the category of Outdoor Recreation businesses, like those focused on sailing or mountain biking, and thus 'non-essential' when it comes to Governor Phil Scott's 'Stay home, stay safe' executive order. Golf courses will remain closed as long as that order is in place.
Ed Coleman, general manager and head professional at Rocky Ridge Golf Club in St. George, doesn't anticipate courses being allowed to open until May at the earliest, and in the end, understands, and agrees that the decision to do so is not in his industries' hands.
"We certainly as a collective industry are deferring to the health professionals in Montpelier. We have all the confidence with their judgement and, more importantly, when we get to that point in time where we are playing golf, we want to make sure that it's safe."
Even when courses do open, Coleman says it will likely be for 'Park and Play' golf. Players book a tee time ahead of their arrival at the course, park and head directly to the first tee to being their round.
Coleman doesn't anticipate course clubhouses to be open in the early going, and while he expects golf carts to be available, only one player per cart would be allowed. Coleman says players will have to adjust their expectations of what a day on the course looks like.
"We have to come to the realization that, in the near future, once we ring the bell, that golf courses are not a place to congregate prior to your round and after your round."
Coleman says communication between clubs has been ongoing, making sure everyone around the state has all information they need...and he says the golf governing bodies of the states throughout the Northeast remain in constant contact as well. It's all about being ready to fill the role some many are anxious for the game to fill when the time is right.
"Come to the golf course, park your car, enjoy and afternoon of golf, get back in your car and go home and be safe. We're hoping that the course can provide a respite, but at the end of the day it's of monumental importance that everyone be safe."