As we’ve been increasingly asked — or required by law — to practice social distancing, golf courses and driving ranges have proven an outdoor escape for thousands of people looking to get some fresh air and remain active.
In some states and jurisdictions, golf courses were required to close by law, while others are choosing remain closed despite orders. Now, however, every state in the United States is allowing courses to be open.
For golfers wondering if golf courses are open (if you’re wondering if golf courses can remain open in the United Kingdom, we’re looking out for you, too), we have some information and are keeping tally on which courses remain open.
Are golf courses are open? A state-by-state guide
As more states issued executive actions to limit travel and promote social distancing, confusion developed over each individual state’s policy. We’ve been keeping track by state.
Courses are taking a variety of measures to prevent human interaction during this time, including banning cart rentals (or having more than one person in a cart), requiring flagsticks to remain in cups (or pulling cups slightly out of the ground to prevent flag touching), closing bars and restaurants, closing full clubhouses and only accepting digital payment. Courses are also asking players to remain 6 feet apart throughout the round.
Alabama: Governor Kay Ivey has issued a stay-at-home order that allows golf courses to remain open, provided social distancing is followed and proper protective practices observed.
Alaska: Golf courses are allowed to be open.
Arizona: Governor Tony Ducey has said golf courses are “essential businesses” that can remain open at this time, even through his stay-at-home order effective through April 30.
Arkansas: Governor Asa Hutchinson has no current plans to issue a statewide stay-at-home order.
California: The state of California has called for a shelter-in-place order that has required the closure of all non-essential businesses. However, there is not a widespread order for courses to close, leaving that up to individual jurisdictions, including at the city and county level. Increasingly, more counties are opening up courses to play.
Colorado: Governor Polis has issued a shelter-in-place order that requires non-essential businesses to close and citizens to remain home except for “critical activities.” However, golf courses are allowed to remain open at this time, and only approximately 70 courses in the state have closed. Local governments, including at the county and city level, can choose stricter orders or to close their owned-and-operated courses. Denver closed all of its six municipal golf courses on March 18, but they were re-opened on April 22. Colorado Springs is also closed its courses.
Connecticut: Governor Ned Lamont has issued an order closing all non-essential businesses that seemingly forced the closure of golf courses. However, the governor has reconsidered, and golf courses can remain open provided they’re practicing proper safety and social distancing techniques. Public golf courses in Fairfield, Conn., will be closed starting March 23.
Delaware: Delaware has issued its own stay-at-home order, but golf courses are allowed to remain open. Golfers can play on the courses provided they’re open, the facility is practicing proper precautions and golfers are practicing social distancing.
Florida: Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a statewide stay-at-home order that lets golf courses remain open. Several counties and municipalities, including Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County, had issued shelter-in-place orders that close golf courses, but those courses re-open April 29. Orange County and Orlando courses can now remain open.
Georgia: Governor Brian Kemp has issued a shelter-in-place order for “high-risk” groups, which hasn’t limited golf course openings. However, Atlanta, Savannah and Cobb County have issued stricter orders. Golf courses are open in Atlanta.
Hawaii: Hawaii Governor David Ige issued a shelter-in-place order. All travelers to Hawaii are also required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival, starting March 26. Residents can self-quarantine at home, and visitors can self-quarantine at their accommodations. However, based on his order for all Hawaiians, which starts March 25, golf courses are closing.
Idaho: Idaho has just issued a shelter-in-place order, but we are awaiting more information. Blaine County has issued shelter-in-place orders, however. Golf courses have remained open, though the season is early.
Indiana: The governor has issued an executive order limiting movements and closing non-essential businesses. However, golf courses are allowed to remain open.
Iowa: The government has not issued a shelter-in-place order at this time, and golf courses are largely remaining open at this point.
Kansas: Despite governments orders related to curtailing movements, closing schools and promoting social distancing, golf courses are allowed to remain open.
Kentucky: Governor Andy Beshear has issued an executive order closing non-life-sustaining businesses, but golf courses are allowed to remain open and are considered exempt from the order.
Louisiana: Louisiana has issued a safer-at-home order, but golf courses, including New Orleans municipal courses, can remain open.
Maryland: Governor Larry Hogan has announced golf courses can re-open on May 7, along with a slew of other outdoor activities, provided social distancing guidelines are followed.
Massachusetts: Governor Charlie Baker is announcing golf courses will be allowed to open on May 7, marking the last statewide closure to end.
Michigan: Governor Whitmer has modified her stay-at-home order, which runs through May 15, to now allow golf courses to open to walking players only.
Minnesota: Governor Tim Walz has issued a stay-at-home order to limit travel and close non-essential businesses. With an April 17 update, courses can open again. The order runs through May 4.
Mississippi: Golf courses remain open throughout the state.
Missouri: Governor Parson has issued a stay-at-home order that allows golf courses to remain open, provided social distancing is followed and proper protective practices observed.
Montana: Governor Steve Bullock has not closed courses, which have remained open.
Nebraska: Governor Ricketts has resisted statewide shelter-in-place orders. Golf courses appear to remain open at this time.
Nevada: After closing golf courses as part of his current order, which runs through April 30, Governor Sisolak is re-opening golf courses on May 1.
New Jersey: Governor Murphy was quick to close golf courses throughout the state as part of his shelter-in-place order. He is re-opening courses, however, on May 2 as part of an amended order.
New York: Golf courses had been open after an early reversal from Governor Cuomo’s stay-at-home order. However on April 9, the governor changed his mind again, saying courses had to close. On April 17, he allowed courses to open up again, provided guidelines are followed and that most on-course employees were not on premises. The stay-at-home order ends May 15.
North Carolina: Governor Cooper’s stay-at-home order allows golf courses, including those in Pinehurst, to continue to operate for the time being.
North Dakota: There have been no significant orders for North Dakota residents to stay indoors, though it’s not really golf season there.
Ohio: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has issued a shelter-in-place order statewide through April 6. After keeping courses open, then closing them, they’ve been allowed to remain open.
Oklahoma: Governor Kevin Stitt has resisted calls for a statewide shelter-in-place order, but he did issue orders on March 25, leaving golf courses generally able to remain open.
Oregon: Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued a stay-at-home order, but golf courses are allowed to remain open to players, provided courses and players enact proper social-distancing practices.
Pennsylvania: Governor Wolf announced a re-opening of golf courses on May 1 as part of loosening up some pieces of his stay-at-home order, which runs through May 8.
Rhode Island: While there may be an eventual statewide order, Governor Raimondo has order “all recreational and entertainment facilities as well as any close-contact business—gyms, fitness centers, hair salons, nail salons—must close” by March 23. Golf courses do not appear affected by the order.
South Carolina: Even with Governor McMaster’s order to close non-essential businesses, golf courses remain open throughout the state, including for locals only in Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area.
South Dakota: Golf courses remain open throughout the state.
Tennessee: Golf courses remain open throughout the state.
Texas: Governor Abbott’s statewide order indicated courses could open, but a conference call on April 7 was interpreted to mean courses had to close. The attorney general clarified the situation, saying courses can be open but with caveats.
Utah: Golf courses remain open throughout the state, provided social distancing and safety measures are performed.
Vermont: Governor Scott closed golf courses as part of his stay-at-home order, but they are allowed to open again on May 7 with restrictions.
Virginia: Virginia golf courses can remain open even as Governor Ralph Northam has issued a statewide stay-at-home order.
Washington: Governor Jay Inslee has issued an order to re-open golf courses on May 5, with restrictions for courses and players to encourage safety.
West Virginia: West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, who also owns The Greenbrier resort in the state, has issued a stay-at-home order starting at 8 p.m. on March 24. Residents can still go outside for exercise provided they maintain proper distancing. This will allow golf courses to remain open.
Wyoming: There’s no statewide orders at this time, and golf courses are open.