Golf and COVID-19: Latest news on course operations
UPDATED Jan 19, 2021 — After two weeks in Hawaii, the PGA Tour has returned to the U.S. mainland. Four of the next five weeks on tour will take place in the state of California, which has experienced dire COVID-19 conditions in many counties.
This week's American Express will be played in La Quinta without fans and also without the three-day amateur competition that typically featured 156 competitors alongside the PGA Tour pros. Read more from the local Desert Sun golf reporter Larry Bohannan.
Last week, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am announced there will be no amateur celebrity competitors at this year's event, scheduled for February 11-14. So there will be no Bill Murray on hand to entertain. Due to the State of California's Stay at Home Order for the Bay Area region, Pebble Beach Resorts has closed all of its hotels, restaurants and spa until February 1st. Golf courses, pro shops, health and tennis clubs remain open.
The WGC-Mexico Championship (Feb 25-28) is also relocating for 2021 to The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida. This will crate a true Florida Swing with the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Players Championship and Honda Classic all in succession. The PGA Tour hopes to return to Chapultepec in 2022.
On Wednesday, January 20, Joe Biden will be inaugurated President of the United States. He has already unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan he hopes to pass through congress. His other major task on day one is expediting vaccine distribution and slowing the spread of COVID-19 and recent variants. (More: CNN)
Is your golf course open? We are compiling the latest news on city, county and statewide shelter-in-place declarations and social distancing measures and how it relates to golf operations. The following Google spreadsheet has our latest news of city, county and statewide golf course suspensions or reopenings.
How to play golf safely during the COVID-19 pandemic
Many medical experts believe that golf is one of the safest activities you can participate in during the current outbreak as long as you take proper precautions. These include social distancing with the other golfers at the course and in your group, not sharing a golf cart unless it is with an immediate family member you live with, not shaking hands after the round and not socializing in the clubhouse afterwards. US governing bodies revealed new "Back 2 Golf" guidelines on May 5th that share best practices for golf course operators and players. See their recommendations here.
Golf Course Operators
• Topeka, Kansas rounds up 10% despite winter weather
• Sky Sports: Should courses be allowed to stay open in GB&I?
• 2022 PGA Championship pulled from Trump Bedminster (NBC News)
•Limited attendance announced for 2021 Masters (Masters.com)
• New dates for 2021 U.S. Senior Women's Open (USGA)
• GolfChannel.com: Biggest questions in 2021 for PGA Tour
• Lynch: Phoenix Open shouldn't have fans
• Newsday: Muni golf sees spike in revenue and play
• Tucker: How private club life roared back in 2020
• Hawaii offering free round trip tickets to work remotely there
• Harford County (Md.) courses experience big year in rounds
• GolfNow reveals latest operator survey on COVID-19 impact
• Las Vegas courses see COVID-19 bump in rounds
• Boris Johnson unveils UK's winter outlook
• New Mexico orders courses closed again
• Old Course Hotel in Scotland closes due to COVID-19 restrictions
• Hoggard: Fall Masters unlike any other
• Waikoloa (Big Island) to reopen golf course after several months
• Western Mass. courses booming thanks to weather
• Cedar Rapids plans to repurpose closed municipal course
• President-elect Biden announced COVID-19 task force
• Ka'anapali scraps redevelopment plans
•Golf Clubs in Ireland to close a second time amid pandemic
• New York Times: The Art of letting go and getting into golf
• Deegan: Golfers got better during the 2020 pandemic
• Best year in a long time for Western New York golf courses
• Guardian: Course turned into park and now no one wants to leave
• Portland's Broadmoor Golf Course closes after 89 years
• Minnesota golf operators say 2020 was 'crazy busy'
• Tucker: New invention proposes rakes in golfers' bags
• Two Hawaii courses close permanently due to pandemic
• Most successful year ever for 50-year-old Jasper, Ind. course
• Villages in Florida allows flagsticks to be removed for putting
• Popular English course to close this fall
• University set to close golf course Nov. 1
• St. Kitts & Nevis to reopen borders Oct. 31
• Cruise industry 'optomistic' to sail by the end of 2020
• Stats say 'optimism' rising for holiday travel
• NGF: Industry leaders on sustaining golf's COVID-19 bump
• WaPo: Golf had its best summer in decades
• Hawaii set to welcome back tourists on October 15
• Golf Datatech: Retail sales up 32%
• "You can bring a bag full of White Claws" - golf hot amongst women, young people (Yahoo Finance)
• WATCH: The GolfNow Industry Report for Sept 29
• Illinois receives $5 million donation for golf course
• Cleveland.com: Exceptional golf summer in northeast Ohio
• Tokatee spared thus far in Oregon fires
• USGA announces second Golf House in Pinehurst
• Delaware's Rookery North Announces permanent closure
• Denver's City Park Golf Course officially reopens