Minnesota Governor Tim Walz was one of the governors out in front of the current crisis, issuing a stay-at-home order on March 17.
Minnesota residents were 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 had to close their physical locations.
In that initial stay-at-home order, Evers banned golf courses from being open to the public, declaring it a non-essential business. However, in his latest executive order, dated April 17, golf courses are allowed to again open to players on April 18.
The order, which runs through May 3, now allows golf courses, among other previously closed businesses, to open provided that they take certain precautions that have become commonplace throughout the United States where courses remain open.
"Although Minnesotans are strongly encouraged to stay close to their primary residences, many outdoor recreational activities are available close to Minnesotans' homes and can be done safely," the order says.
Golf courses have taken myriad precautions to make playing the game as safe as possible, including using modified cups to prevent touching common surfaces, as well removing shared surfaces like bunker rakes, ball washers and water coolers. Under Evers' order, Minnesota golf courses will only be allowed to take tee time reservations and payments online or by phone. Clubhouses, pro shops and other non-essential course facilities must remain closed.
This is good news for Minnesota golfers, who can now get back to playing golf.