Golf courses close after executive order clarification

Coronavirus

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Many viewers have been writing the newsroom and posting on social media, asking why golf courses remain open during the governor’s executive order to stay home.

Are they excluded?

The answer appears to be no.

Several course, including the Pines Golf Course in Wyoming, remained open earlier in the day on Thursday.

But by noon, more clarification from the governor’s office on golf course came down.

And the Pines owner closed the course.

It was a big disappointment for golfers, as any frustrations over COVID-19 were taken out on a little yellow ball.

“Just so nice to get out of the house and get some fresh air,” one golfer said.

“Get out, get some fresh air. Be out in nature. Loosen up the muscles. Good for the heart and soul,” another one said.

They had taken several precautions at the Pines.

Carts got disinfected after every round. And there was no doubling up in carts, unless the golfers were related, otherwise, each golfer got a separate ride.

“We sanitized everything to do with the club house. The doorknobs about every 5 to 10 minutes. We only allowed one person at a time in the pro shop,” Pines owner and operator Mike Boogaard said.

And business had been good.

Wednesday’s warm, sunny weather brought in a record number of golfers.

“We had 236 players yesterday and we had over 500 phone calls,” Boogaard said. “Those are huge number in this industry.”

But after days of confusion, and in some cases, frustration on the part of course owner as to if they were in violation of Gov. Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, course owners received some clarification by way of the FAQ page on the executive order:

Q: Are golf course employees considered critical infrastructure workers for the purposes of Executive Order 2020-21?
A: No, golf course employees are not considered critical infrastructure workers. As needed, however, golf courses may designate workers to leave their home for work, if their in-person presence is strictly necessary to conduct the minimum basic operations listed in section 4(b) of the order. Minimum basic operations do not include serving members of the public.

So, the Pines closed.

“We want to make sure that the community does come first.” Boogaard said.

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