Maine governor Janet Mills has been a proactive governor during the crisis, issuing early stay-at-home orders to protect citizens and require them to remain home.
Governor Mills issued a stay-at-home order early on, requiring non-essential businesses to close and citizens to stay at home unless they had to go obtain emergency services, get food, get light exercise or work at an essential business. Golf courses were not considered essential, requiring them to close, though few were open with the typical later start to the state’s golf season.
However, Maine golf courses can once again open thanks to changes made by Governor Mills.
In starting the first stage of the state’s gradual re-opening, golf courses will be allowed to open again. Golf courses will be allowed to re-open on May 1, provided courses follow restrictions of her plan.
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.
Players cannot arrive any sooner than 15 minutes before their tee time. Tee times must be spaced at least 12 minutes apart, but foursomes can play. Carts are for single riders only, unless the passenger lives in the same house as the driver. Driving ranges and practice areas remain closed. Out-of-state players can only play after a 14-day quarantine.
This is great news for golfers in Maine, as the state joins a growing group allowing 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, Nevada and Pennsylvania courses re-open on May 1. New Jersey courses re-open May 2. Washington golf courses re-open on May 5. New Hampshire courses re-open on May 11.