Louisville golf courses trying to honor social distancing rules to stay open

Golf is an activity that can help people get outside during this time of social distancing and staying at home. But it could be in trouble if government guidelines aren’t followed.

“Golf courses: I know it was a beautiful weekend,” Governor Andy Beshear said on Sunday. “But we can’t, if we’re going to keep these open, have large groups of people…and listen, a large group of people can be six of you really close together. We can’t allow any crowds in Kentucky right now.”

These comments came after photos surfaced on social media of a large group of golfers gathered on a putting green at Hunting Creek Country Club in Prospect. As for the municipal courses in Louisville, those 10 have been trying to social distance.

“We’ve got a very strict set of rules in each one of our ten golf course clubhouses,” Louisville Parks and Recreation public information supervisor Jon Reiter said. “You’ve got to keep a 6-foot radius away from you when you’re in play, one person to a cart.”

“We sanitize all the golf carts, before and after they go out,” Crescent Hill golf professional Moe Demling said. “There’s no key. We keep the keys here, we turn them on so there’s no chance of getting any disease out there. We’ve turned off all the water fountains because of the stainless steel. And people actually come into the building one at a time.”

That’s all in addition to removing flagpins from holes and turning cups upside down in them, only offering food as takeout and removing chairs and tables to enforce distancing. Course personnel and government officials want people to keep coming, but understand it can’t happen if they don’t act responsibly.

“These rules need to be obeyed or else golf is not something that will have to be continued,” Reiter said.

“Please don’t put me in a position to shut our golf courses down too,” Louisville mayor Greg Fischer said. “Golf courses have been one way where people can get out and blow some steam off. You don’t want it, I don’t want it. We’re better than that as a community.”

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