Golf ball image via Pexels user Thomas Ward
Written by Edward Smith
Fresno golf courses will be among the first businesses authorized to reopen after Mayor Lee Brand announced Monday night a new phase in allowing “non-essential” businesses to come back to life.
A press conference to clarify these new guidelines is being organized for Tuesday, according to a city spokesperson.
As of Tuesday, the City of Fresno announced that as long as golf courses comply with social distancing guidelines, they can operate, according to a press release. In order to do so, players have to keep a distance from each other, walk courses and avoid riding together in carts unless unable to, have no more than four players at a time and space out tee times. Golfers must also avoid contact with one another and all food and beverages should be to-go or delivery.
Airways and Riverside golf courses are now open. Disc golfers will also be able to play at Woodward Park as soon as signage is available for how it should be played, according to the release.
Business was not “super busy, but it was steady,” said Tom Bugbee, COO for CourseCo, the company that oversees Riverside Golf Course. They got notice they could open last night and at 8 a.m., they were ready for golfers.
The restaurant was not yet open, said Bugbee, but they offered packaged snacks as well as drinks. It could open for to-go as early as this week, or “however long it takes to get food ordered and ready,” he said.
Golf has long since been a source of contention between the City of Fresno and private country clubs. In the County of Fresno, both Belmont Country Club and Sunnyside Country Club were allowed to operate during the pandemic.
Members of San Joaquin Country Club, as well as Todd Hansen, general manager of Copper River Country Club, have been vocal about their need to operate, asking the mayor to grant them allowances for members to play through the course.