Golf is back in Denton County, but under strict guidelines.
In the Denton County Commissioners Court’s regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve a revised executive order that allows some elements of golf to be allowed in the county, which will re-open courses for the first time in weeks.
Denton County Judge Andy Eads held a video conference call last week with the COO of PGA America and about 30 golf course owners and general managers, according to a news release from the county. The courses agreed that if they re-opened, they would establish and follow the same rules for operation.
“We have worked with the PGA of America and our golf course owners to reach a mutual agreement on how we can allow golfers the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of exercise through recreational walking on golf courses while still upholding our efforts to flatten the curve during this pandemic,” Eads said.
The rules stipulate that all tee times must be made and paid for in advance, by phone or online. There has to be 15 minutes between each tee time, and only golfers are allowed on the course. The use of a golf cart is only allowed if the cart is privately owned and is only being used by one person (and others in their household) throughout the stay-at-home order (which is in effect through April 30).
No guests of members will be allowed, and no restrooms in the clubhouse can be used. No ice or water machines, tees, amenity stations, bunker rakes, ball washers, coolers, beverage carts, golf instruction or academies, driving ranges or practice areas will be available. The cups on the greens will be set up to prevent the golf ball from going in the hole. Players must keep six feet from others at all times and should not touch the flagsticks. Clubhouse restaurants can serve food for takeout or delivery only.
The county had requested an opinion from Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office, and that opinion came this weekend. The county made the change to align itself with the Governor’s executive order and the AG’s opinion.
“From the beginning, our priority has been to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. We ask all golfers to maintain the integrity of the game and to be examples of social distancing while on the golf course,” Judge Eads said. “It is vitally important that all adhere to the rules and regulations we have allowed. During this time, we do not want to have to police the golfers or golf courses. Our efforts to manage our response to the pandemic need to be on the county as a whole.”