Local golf courses open with restrictions and guidelines

Local Sports

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Justin Bateman, a senior at Niskayuna High School, is missing his baseball season. So he and his father, Scott, turned to a centuries-old game with some new tweaks put in place to prioritize health during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The cups are upside down, so the ball doesn’t actually go in the hole,” Scott Bateman explained.

The rule’s in place to limit the germs being spread by reaching into the cup. It’s one of the many precautions the Town of Colonie Golf Course is taking. In part, the clubhouse is closed, the tee times are spread 16 minutes apart (double the normal intervals), there are no golf carts available, and they’ve removed all the flagsticks, rakes, and ball washers.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that golf courses could reopen, providing they follow strict guidelines to promote social distancing set by the state and CDC.

“It’s important that everybody follows them because you don’t want to ruin it for everybody else,” says Matt Daley, the head professional at the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. He said that with a limited staff, it’ll be difficult to enforce all of the rules when they open for the season on Monday.

“Hopefully these people when they come out here can enjoy themselves, but police themselves as well,” he said. “They don’t need somebody breathing down their necks all day long saying, ‘Don’t do this. Don’t do that.'”

Golfers must stay at least six feet away from each other at all times, and refrain from shaking hands. If they honor the rules, there’s a greater chance courses will stay open.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of happy people. A lot of smiling faces, definitely,” said Daley.

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