Colorado governor Polis clarifies if golf courses can remain open or must close
Golf Culture

Colorado governor Polis clarifies if golf courses can remain open or must close


Colorado Governor Jared Polis had been reluctant to take aggressive action to try to get his residents to stay at home, but on March 26, he enacted a stay-at-home order that is in effect until further notice.

Colorado 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.

Like many governors' orders, the Colorado stay-at-home order allows residents to leave their homes for outdoor exercise provided proper precautions are taken and social distancing is observed.

In announcing the stay-at-home order, Governor Polis was not clear if golf courses are allowed to remain open. However, Polis was not specific about the fate of golf courses. Asked for clarification by the Denver Post, the governor's team pretty much left it up to the courses themselves:

“Recreation is only allowed if it can be done in compliance with social distancing requirements, meaning most operations at any private (golf) club would be closed or severely restricted. It’s not about what you can get away with, it’s about protecting your friends, family and community.”

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 Colorado counties and cities, golf courses have been required closed. Various governments in the state have closed their owned-and-operated courses as well.

Denver has closed their municipal courses, and the same has happened in Colorado Springs.

It'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.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

Ryan talks about golf on various social platforms:

X or Twitter:

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

Ryan occasionally links to merchants of his choosing, and GNN may earn a commission from sales generated by those links. See more in GNN's affiliate disclosure.