Orange County, Fla., has issued a stay-at-home executive order, with Mayor Jerry Demings requiring non-essential businesses to close and citizens to remain at home as much as possible. The order was to go into effect on March 26 at 11 p.m., and the initial order was going to require golf courses to close.
However, Mayor Demings, supported by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, has clarified the order to make it clear golf courses can remain open to provide fresh air and exercise outdoors.
WP9 has been closed for over a week, but it has continued to stay active & maintained. As of tonight, per Orange County Emergency Executive Order, courses are on list of what can stay open. If done thoughtfully, electronically, sensibly, as a walk/hike at a park, I tend to agree. https://t.co/AK2yKFEC1e pic.twitter.com/8LAqjK5cow
— Matt Ginella (@MattGinella) March 27, 2020
This means courses like Winter Park 9 can reopen, and courses like those at Walt Disney World Resort, which have been open throughout the current crisis, can remain open.
Of course, golf courses are required to promote and enforce social distancing between golfers, keeping 6 feet from each other at all times.
Shared surfaces, like bunker rakes, water jugs and ball washers, are removed from courses. Cups have been altered so players don’t have to touch them or the flagstick to retrieve their ball when it’s considered holed. Also, facilities are typically closing pro shops, clubhouses and locker rooms.
Golf courses are also asking their customers to pay online and just show up to check in for their tee times, which have been spaced out further, and play.