The lifestyle change caused by social distancing guidelines is unprecedented in recent history. However, with sports leagues, sports organizations, and gyms closing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, golf courses are seeing a steady stream of enthusiasts.
Corpus Christi golf courses have put in place preventive measures, including stepping up cleaning and sterilizing carts and other areas, as well as following government guidelines on food business closings and the transition to taking orders.
However, the seats remain open to the players and they take the opportunity to play.
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Corpus Christi isn’t the only one seeing open courses as courses remain open in most parts of the country, although many states have stricter stay-at-home instructions. State officials are demanding that people not gather in groups of more than 10 people, and restaurants have been closed and can only be used for takeout or delivery.
Golf is a sport where players can easily practice social distancing. Apart from a few changes in etiquette such as: Such as the handshake after the round or high fives that now turn into pounding chest or elbow bumps, this can also be a way for people to keep exercising while the world practically closes around them.
Lawrence Vera, the general manager of Foresight Golf, which oversees the town’s two golf courses, Oso Beach Golf Course and Gabe Lozano Golf Center, said they had put in place stricter procedures for cleaning and disinfecting carts after they were used before they are sent back to play. This goes hand in hand with maintaining high standards in the dining area when transitioning to taking orders.
Start times range from 6 to 8 minutes and groups of four are usually sent out onto the pitch to play. The ability to do this helps golf stay within the guidelines suggested for social distancing.
“It’s a chance to step away from the media, get back into the fresh air and communicate with your friends,” said Vera. “Our lap percentage hasn’t dropped that much, but we’re still early.”
Mason Miller, general manager of the River Hills Country Club, said her laps increased 30 percent last Thursday and could increase over time depending on the weather. Vera said they have canceled tournaments since social distancing practices began.
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Vera added, however, that when a group wants to host a tournament, they have procedures in place to limit contact between players. During a tournament, Vera said, players check in as usual because many don’t check in at the same time and the game continues as normal. What has changed, however, is the post-round gathering.
Once a round is over, players will be asked to hand in their scorecards and then leave. Players added by Vera will be notified of the results in a different way, i.e. no post-round parties will be held.
Business continues on local courses and they hope to be for the foreseeable future.
“There’s a lot of space between everyone,” said Vera.
Publisher’s Note: This article was updated on March 22, 2029 at 8:28 PM
Len Hayward is the sports director of the USA Today Sports Network Plains Region and the sports editor for Caller-Times. Support our subscription options and specials at Caller.com/subscribe for more coverage