Golf and COVID-19: Latest news on course operations

LA QUINTA, CA - JANUARY 18: A course scenic view as Bud Cauley hits out of the greenside bunker on the 16th hole during the third round of the The American Express on the Stadium Course at PGA West on January 18, 2020 in La Quinta, California. (Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

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

Headlines archive

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

Shipnuck: 2020 the year of the birdie

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

Pandemic set to give Texas course best year ever

Endwell Greens Extends Closure To Entire Facility Due To COVID Cases

Bozeman Business Boom: Why more people are teeing it up at local golf courses during COVID-19

Possible COVID-19 exposure at Wisconsin Rapids golf course

Heritage Oaks Golf Course temporarily closes

Local golfers still playing around coronavirus threats

Albuqurque courses experiencing huge rounds increases in 2020

Vail Resorts decides to close Michigan's Mt. Brighton Golf Course permanently

67 employees at Georgia club test positive for COVID-19, closes club

Rabid demand at Aspen Golf Club as tee sheet books out in 3 minutes

Jack Nicklaus reveals he and Barbara had COVID-19 in March

Hanover Country Club closes after 121 years

Northern Michigan course closed due to employee's positive test

Meriden, CT courses doing record rounds

PGA Tour: No fans, Pro-Ams for rest of 2020

Record rounds reported on Utah golf courses

California's Elkins Ranch closing permanently on Labor Day

Colorado's Keystone Resort only operating one of two courses this summer

What it's currently like playing golf at Pebble Beach Golf Resort

Members pitch in to save Scotland's Brora Golf Club in 2020

Planning a golf trip this summer? Here are 10 things to consider

These top-rated golf courses still haven't reopened

High-quality muni golf coming to D.C. featuring Hanse, Doak and Welling input

First PGA Tour player tests positive at event

NGF: Military, municipal, casino courses still not open

Atlanta-area course will turn into a public course every Tuesday


• (6/13) Yale Golf Course closed until the end of July

•(6/12) Furor over continued closure of New York City golf courses
• (6/8) Tee time intervals are wider, but rounds booked still up YoY

• (6/7) R&A launches £7 mllion COVID-19 relief fund for golf courses

• (6/7) Ohio events including Memorial, Marathon will allow spectators

• (6/4) New normal at Honolulu muni Ala Wai, others

• (6/4) Scotsman: Guidelines for Scotland golf course reopenings

•(6/3) Golf World: Inside look at America's surging desire to get back to golf

(6/3) Suburban Chicago golf courses celebrate busy month

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