Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been reluctant to take aggressive action to try to get people to stay at home, but on March 31, he enacted a stay-at-home order that is in effect from April 2 through April 30.
Florida citizens are asked to remain at home unless they have to leave to get food, seek medical treatment, get outdoor exercise or go to work at an essential business. All businesses deemed non-essential, are expected to close or face fines.
“I’m going to be doing an executive order today directing all Floridians to limit movements and personal interactions outside the home to only those necessary,” DeSantis said in announcing the order. “To obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities."
In announcing the stay-at-home order, Governor DeSantis has allowed golf courses to remain open throughout the duration of the order. Golf courses can also be maintained during this time.
Of course, courses could close voluntarily, and they could be ordered closed by a more specific ordinance at a local level. In a number of Florida counties and cities, golf courses have been required closed. Various governments in the state have closed their owned-and-operated courses as well.
Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties have closed their courses by order. Orange County had closed courses, but they have since been allowed to re-open.
Like many governors' orders, the Florida stay-at-home order allows residents to leave their homes for outdoor exercise provided proper precautions are taken and social distancing is observed. That's become a new normal at golf courses around the United States that are able to remain open, with modified cups to prevent touching common surfaces, as well removing shared surfaces like bunker rakes, ball washers and water coolers.