Governor Tim Walz will hold a press conference Friday at 2 p.m. and it is expected that he will issue new guidance for outdoor activities that could affect golfing. The big question is if he'll follow Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and allow golf courses to open to the public.
Gov. Evers announced Thursday that Wisconsin courses can open for business on April 24. Minnesota and Wisconsin, along with five other states, formed a regional pact that will help coordinate reopening each state's respective economy amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Political analyst Blois Olson, speaking on WCCO Radio Friday morning, reported that Walz will allow courses to reopen.
If that's the case, it's clear that social distancing measures will be required. Josh Hagstrom, the golf pro at Island Pine in Atwater, Minnesota, sent out a newsletter Thursday mentioning some of the possible rules in the event of reopening.
"There will be many social distancing restrictions, safeguards, and changes that will be made in order for this to happen. I'm sure the governor will give us more info on that when the time comes, but here are some possible changes to expect," Hagstrom wrote, adding the following:
- Practice social distancing measures (stay 6 feet apart)
- Limited number of people in the clubhouse
- Customers should pay online or over the phone when possible
- Golf carts must be sanitized after use
- Possibly only 1 person per cart unless with immediate family/household member
- Remove flag sticks, instead using raised cups to avoid touch points
- Removal of ball washing machines
- No rakes in bunkers
- Frequent cleaning of door handles, counters, tables
"These are just some of the things that may be implemented once we are allowed to open," Hagstrom added.
It's expected that Walz will also provide information about the upcoming boating and fishing seasons. He has previously said that these will go ahead, but will likely requie restrictions to ensure social distancing is maintained.