South Carolina governor McMaster clarifies if golf courses can remain open or must close
Golf Culture

South Carolina governor McMaster clarifies if golf courses can remain open or must close


South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has been reluctant to take aggressive action to try to get his residents to stay at home, but on March 31, he enacted a stay-at-home order that is in effect from April 1 at 5 p.m. through April 15.

South Carolina 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, from three categories -- entertainment venues athletic facilities and close-contact service providers -- must close their physical locations.

In announcing the stay-at-home order, Governor McMaster has allowed golf courses to remain open throughout the duration of the order. Golf courses can also be maintained during this time.

Of course, courses could close voluntarily, and they could be ordered closed by a more specific ordinance at a local level. In the Myrtle Beach area, courses are closed to tourists and only available for locals, as the area has tried to discourage tourists coming in from out of state.

“The virus is still spreading and still growing,” McMaster said in announcing the order. “We have to do everything we can, but not go too far and destroy businesses and jobs people are depending on.”

He said, “The bare minimum will close.”

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

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