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In a time of pandemic, golf is a healthy activity

By |  May 5, 2020 0 Comments

When Golfdom spoke to Mark Newton, CGCS, at Canyon Farms Golf Club in Lenexa, Kan., certain counties in Kansas had shut golf down completely, but it was regional.

Newton is also the president of The Heart of America Chapter GCSAA, so he has worked with mayors and councilmen to get golf back open in the state. Golf is an essential business in Johnson County, where Canyon Farms is located, and Newton says his course is considered in the same bracket as a park.

On his course, it’s one person per cart, and while some courses in Kansas have banned carts for public safety, he understands why carts are still allowed on his course.

“It’s a solid 7 miles up and down hills,” he says. “It’s a long walk. I’ve had to do it when equipment breaks down, and it’s not fun.

But, using carts puts an extra burden on the shop to ensure that everything is sanitized properly.

The course takes reservations for tee times seven days in advance. But that number has been slashed in half for public safety. If a member no-shows more than two times for reserved tee times, that person must sit out two weeks to let others have a chance.

“You can only get so many people on the course,” Newton says. “We’re having members quit because they can’t get a tee time right now.”

Newton says golf is a safe and healthy sport.

“Right now, with everything being closed, it’s one of the only things people can get out and do,” he says.

But, he does worry about the public’s perception of golf if players on a course are not practicing social distancing. However, Newton says that the mayor of Lenexa’s office overlooks the course’s No. 10 green. So, the mayor is keenly aware of what safety measures are in place at Canyon Farms Golf Club.

Newton tips his hat to what Rhett Evans and GCSAA are doing to advocate for golf and golf course superintendents in D.C., and also how the local and state members are advocating both the safety and mental and physical health benefits of being outdoors.

“The promotion of golf could be a great thing right now if it’s done with the right light,” he says.

This article is tagged with and posted in COVID-19, Industry News

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