North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has issued a statewide shelter-in-place order which goes into effect on March 30 at 5 p.m.
Non-essential businesses are required to close, and North Carolina residents have been asked to stay at home unless they have to make essential trips, like to the grocery store, to get take-out food or to seek emergency services. Residents are also required to observe proper social distancing, including remaining 6 feet away from any person that doesn't live in their household.
Included in Governor Cooper's order is an allowance for essential activities, including exercise.
Fortunately for golfers, Governor Cooper has allowed golf courses to remain open throughout this order.
— Carolinas GCSA (@CarolinasGCSA) March 27, 2020
Of course, golf courses the remain open are going to be required to follow CDC and state guidelines, including those in this order. Golfers will have to maintain a 6-foot distance between themselves and other players, and courses will have to follow CDC guidance to limit player exposure to shared surfaces. Bunker rates, ball washers and water jugs have already been removed from courses, while different facilities have come up with myriad ways to keep putted balls from going into the bottom of the cup.
As more states and local governments have issued stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, they have come down differently on whether golf courses can remain open. But with Pinehurst such a big destination for golfers, as well the precedent from other states that have already issued these orders, Governor Cooper decided golf can go on in North Carolina.