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Why are golf courses open?

Posted at 6:53 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 18:55:11-04

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — At a time when so many other businesses are closed, golf courses, like Diamond Hawk Golf Course in Cheektowaga, are open.

“It's probably the best sport for social distancing,” said Fred Zillner, the Director of Gold Operations at Diamond Hawk.

The staff here has taken a number of precautions, such as one golfer per cart and 20 minute tee times. The clubhouse is also closed. Golfers check in with staff through a walkie talkie. If a line forms, there’s markings six feet apart for people to stand on. They’ve also installed a credit card reader outside, so there’s no exchange of the card.

“We inverted the golf cups so the golf balls don't fall deep into the hole and put the flag sticks in so no one touches the flags,” said Zillner.

Golfers can choose to walk or drive a cart. When they end a game, a staff member will clean the golf cart with bleach water. This way, unless you’re driving a golf cart, you only need to touch your clubs and ball.

“They don't have any ball washers. They don't have any bathrooms open. Just as safe as taking a walk,” Kyle Declerck, a golfer, said.

You can play a full 18 holes without coming into contact with anybody. It's fairly easy to keep your 6 feet of distance on the green.

“People do stay six feet apart. I mean if you look at the width of a swing, no one is going to go closer than that,” Zillner said.

But at the end of the day, it's on the players responsibility to stay apart.

“We preach. We put information on the carts, you know, stay ten feet away. Be responsible for yourself. But if people don't have that common sense, I don't think there's anyone who can teach it to them,” Zillber said, “If everyone is smart, this is a great place to be.”