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Governor Walz considering idea of keeping golf courses open in Minnesota

More than 15,000 people have signed a petition with hopes that courses stay open.

As the weather turns nicer there are thousands of Minnesotans hoping they'll be able to dust off their golf clubs and hit the local courses for a round of nine or 18 holes, but will courses be allowed to stay open as the novel coronavirus pandemic worsens?

Currently, golf courses are included in the places of amusement that are ordered closed, but Gov. Tim Walz said Friday that he's reviewing how his executive order impacts the golf industry.

"I will assure people this, we are still discussing this," said Walz. "Candidly, my approach was I'm encouraging people to do healthy things. I make the argument with my team - I'll listen to the health experts on this - if there is the potential to be able to allow people to pay online to get out there and be able to do this, we'll explore that." 

More than 15,000 people have signed a petition via Change.org to keep courses open, stating that while Pro Shops should remain closed, golfers will be able to follow social distancing guidelines while giving people "much needed mental, emotional, and physical release during this stressful time." 

"It's a legitimate outdoor activity," said Walz. "People are stuck at home and they really want to go do this. I know the feeling as a runner. I want to run and that's what they want to do. I hear you, we're working on it. I'm asking my team to circle back on that and we'll get clearer guidance. 

"We have to try to understand how to reduce the spread, how to up our capacity, how to plan for the future but also live our lives in a way that is sustainable. Please know we're working it." 

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