As coronavirus restrictions in the state are slowly lifted some of the first facilities to re-open are the local golf courses.

On May 5 both Cedarcrest Golf Course in Marysville and Battle Creek Golf Course in Tulalip opened, which was the first day Gov. Jay Inslee allowed courses to re-open.

"Day one was pretty perfect," said Shayne Day, PGA Head Golf Professional at Cedarcrest Golf Course. He said the weather was great and it was a good day for the course.

They say 220 players come through on the first day, "which was pretty significant for a weekday," said Day.

Usually 150 is the maximum number of players they will see for a weekday.

Bob Stiles, a PGA Golf Professional at Battle Creek Golf Course, said that course was full of golfers.

"We've been completely booked for the week," he said.

Part of that might be because only two people can go out in a group now, instead of the four that could before, he added.

In order to re-open golf courses had to meet a number of conditions as set out by Gov. Jay Inslee.

"There are 24 rules from the Governor that we have to follow to re-open," said Day.

Stiles said that Battle Creek Golf Course was already doing a number of those measures before the closure.

"It's gone fairly smooth for us," he said.

Before the stay-at-home order took place the course employees "had to restrict people in the pro shop, we were only paying by credit card and having single occupancy carts," he said.

Other measures have been added such as preventing use of chipping or putting practice areas for those not using the course.

"We have a driving range that is usually popular, but we can't allow people to play on it right now," said Stiles.

For many it's an unusual experience on the golf course.

"Riding by yourself is a unique experience," said Day.

So that people do not brush against any of the touch points at the golf holes Cedarcrest Golf Course has also cut up pool noodles and put them around the flags and into the holes. By doing that, golf balls are able to be grabbed without golfers putting their hand too far down the holes.

"That's something we've never seen before," said Day.

Golfers are complying with the social distancing and other rules, according to Day and Stiles.

"Most people didn't have an issue with the requirements," said Day.

"People are very compliant," said Stiles.

Most were "beyond happy" to get onto the courses and play again, said Day.

"People are very excited to get back on the golf course," said Stiles.

The long closure has been tough on local golf courses.

Day said that the Cedarcrest Golf Course has fallen behind on their grass upkeep, although it is still good enough to play on.

"We're not at 100 percent for where we want to be with the grass," he said.

It has also been tough on much of the course staff.

"Because of the revenue issues we cut our staff down to about 20 percent of what is normal for that timeframe," said Day.

"If revenue is not coming in we can't pay people, just like any other business," he said.

Day said they were happy to meet with golfers and get out in the community.

"We're happy to be open and excited to see the golfers again," he said.


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