Golf courses will have to close under Michigan's stay-at-home order

Generic golf ball golfing
Posted at 7:41 AM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 08:49:35-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan golf courses will have to close under the stay-at-home order signed earlier this week by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The governor's office posted on Friday a clarification to the order under the FAQ section, with one of the questions asking if golf courses can stay open.

"No. 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," the answer read.

Under the previous order which closed restaurants, bars, and other locations, courses were able to stay open but close clubhouses and restaurants associated with the course.

The state has more than 650 public courses and is a more than $4 billion industry in Michigan alone.

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

They had asked for workers to be allowed to come in for maintenance on the coureses, but it appears that will not be the case.

"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."

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