Golf not allowed under Michigan's stay-at-home order

Posted at 8:37 AM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 07:37:31-04

Update from Friday, March 27

The governor's office issued another clarification.

"While EO 2020-21 contemplates outdoor activity, opening a golf course to the public does not fall under the designation of critical infrastructure. Consequently, a golf course may not designate employees as critical infrastructure employees and authorize them come to work."

That means golf courses will have to close to the public until at least April 13.

Update from Thursday, March 26

The governor's office has issued a clarification, saying that golf course employees are not considered critical infrastructure workers.

The office did say that courses can designate some employees 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."

It's not clear, but it's likely courses would be able to have workers come in for course maintenance.

Original story below
Golf season is coming up in Michigan, and on a nice day in March, it's likely you'll see people hitting the links throughout the area. With Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's order though, courses are wondering if they can stay open.

The Michigan Golf Alliance, which consists of several groups, sent a letter Tuesday to Whitmer's office asking for clarity on the stay-at-home order and what it means for courses.

Originally, courses were allowed to stay open after many places were forced to close, and under the order, recreation activities are allowed – including hiking, walking, running, biking, fishing and more.

Even if courses are forced to close, the alliance asked Whitmer to allow golf course maintenance to proceed during the shutdown.

"Spring is a critical time for turfgrass, and it cannot be neglected for an extended period or it will be lost, and the community will lose a vital asset," the letter reads. "We are taking all necessary steps to keep maintenance staff safe by considering the health advisories and recommendations by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Practices such as social distancing, staggering staff work hours, mandatory glove wearing and sanitizing of hand tools are just some of the maintenance adjustments that the golf industry in Michigan is proactively instituting."

As of Tuesday morning, the Michigan Golf Alliance said it has been in direct contact with the governor's office and the legal team will be issuing clarifications for many industries.

We will continue to update this story with more information as we learn more.

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