Golfers in San Francisco and the Bay Area can rejoice, as golf courses in a six-county consortium will be allowed to re-open on May 4.
In an announcement made on April 29, health officials with Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties announced an amended stay-at-home order which runs May 4-31.
"All construction activities, certain businesses that operate primarily outdoors, and some outdoor activities will be allowed to resume with specific conditions," the order reads, according to the order.
Golf, tennis, landscaping and gardening businesses are among those which can re-open on May 4. Children can meet in groups of 12 of fewer for recreational and educational purposes.
Per the directive, golf courses must comply with orders around workplace safety practices.
"Use of shared outdoor facilities for recreational activities that may occur outside of residences consistent with the restrictions set forth in subsections 1, 2, and 3, above, including, but not limited to, golf courses, skate parks, and athletic fields, must, before they may begin, comply with social distancing and health/safety protocols posted at the site and any other restrictions, including prohibitions, on access and use established by the Health Officer, government, or other entity that manages such area to reduce crowding and risk of transmission of COVID-19," the order states.
Area-specific regulations are still to be released, but there are expectations given what's happening in other jurisdictions.
Courses are required to close gathering spaces, like clubhouses, locker rooms, lounges and the like. Golfers have been required to leave quickly after their rounds. Courses have taken precautions to remove shared surfaces like bunker rakes, ball washers and water coolers. Tee times have been spaced out, and golfers are required to observe social distancing guidelines. Cups and holes will be removed from practice greens.
This is great news for golfers in the Bay Area, as more areas allow golf courses to re-open after being closed for several weeks. Wisconsin re-opened on April 24. Minnesota announced a reversal of previous closures. Illinois and Pennsylvania courses re-open on May 1. Washington golf courses re-open on May 5. New Jersey courses re-open May 2.