The COVID-19 outbreak forced the temporary closure of popular destinations around the world. Florida, in particular, shut down public beaches and golf courses due to health and safety concerns. Now some of those areas are slowly being reopened, and residents are already heading back to their favorite spots.
According to TMZ Sports, Florida golf courses have been filled with visitors since they began reopening to the public. Pros and amateurs alike have headed to play a few rounds but have also taken some precautions. The golfers are continuing to wear masks in public. Many are also adhering to the recommended six feet of distance between each other.
Many golf courses in South Florida opened back up today and everyone’s adjusting. Check this out. Staff at Shula’s Golf Course cut up pool noodles and put them in the holes. This stops golfers from having to touch the flag stick after making a putt. @CBSMiami pic.twitter.com/YpVBcSlSWc— Brooke Shafer (@BrookeShaferTV) April 29, 2020
Staff members at the golf courses are also taking measures in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. They routinely spray down range balls with disinfectant while also wearing masks and gloves. Some courses have implemented a "pool noodle" system that prevents golfers from touching the flagstick when they are on the green.
"We need to keep that vigilance going, keep it moving, keep following our guidelines," Delray Beach Fire Chief Keith Tomey said on Tuesday, per the Palm Beach Post. "And I think before you know it eventually we’ll be able to get back to some type of normalcy." Staffers at reopened courses have been striving to follow these guidelines, going so far as to mark off areas that show the recommended six feet. Health guidelines have been taped on the windshields of every golf cart.
Not all of the courses in the state have been reopened, but several private courses are accepting tee times from sunrise until sunset. Abacoa Golf Club was one of the many courses that had an excess of requests for tee times after Monday's announcement that the courses would reopen. Golf pro Logan Brown said that he doesn't believe there has been a moment when the phone "hasn't had three lines coming in."
Florida residents are now able to golf once again, albeit in a limited fashion, but what does this mean for other states? Specifically, will former NFL running back O.J. Simpson be able to play a round near his home in Nevada? He said in late March that he would "go crazy" if he couldn't play golf for a month, but he has long since passed that timeline.