Golf courses adapting to stay open during COVID-19 pandemic

By Patrick Clark Fox2Now

06 April 2020

The fairways at the Forest Park golf course are empty on Monday afternoon. But at Berry Hill Golf Course in Bridgeton, they’ve adjusted the way the game is played, starting with walking only, and pulling the cups out of the ground.

“They know they’re not supposed be touching the flag stick and we’ve done all the necessary things you need to do about water stations,” said Dave Levine, PGA golf professional at Berry Hill Golf Course. “They’re all off the course. So, I think everybody is pretty educated and playing by the rules, so we’re going to try and stay open as long as we can.”

Missouri Governor Mike Parson asking residents to remain at home but there are exceptions like biking, hiking, hunting, and golf.

“We wouldn’t have opened it if we thought it was a danger to the public health,” said Bridgeton Mayor Terry Briggs. “But we took steps here to close the clubhouse, prevent anybody from taking out carts. The only thing you can do here is golf and that’s good exercise for you. And I don’t think we would have opened had we not taken these precautions.”

At Berry Hill, the clubhouse is closed and portable toilets have been installed around the course.

“I think they did a great job protecting everybody,” said golfer Tyrone Lee. “The way it’s set up out here is protected for everybody. Definitely didn’t have any problem with the social distancing. I think the closest person to me was about 75 or 80 yards away. So, I think we were pretty safe.”

For some of the retirees or golfers on this course, this game is how they’re trying to fight the coronavirus.

“They say the fresh air and sunshine is good for it to build up your immune system,” said golfer Volker Gruss. “That’s another reason I like to come out and get exercise; to keep your immune system built up to fight off the virus as best as you can.”

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