WAYNE — Area golf enthusiasts got a piece of good news this week.
Julie Rother of the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department sent a letter to area golf course managers telling them golf leagues could continue under the current Directed Health Measure mandated by Gov. Pete Ricketts.
There would likely not be an issue with a golf league as long as people are not gathering in groups, she said.
“This is different than team sports where kids or adults are consistently in larger groups and in close contact,” Rother said.
Golf courses would not be permitted to allow golfers to congregate before or after golfing, however.
Rother also handed out several tips on best practices during this time to help slow the spread of the virus. These are compiled from things other golf courses are doing to prevent the spread of the virus.
Those tips include:
• Any member of the public who observes any social distancing guidelines being broken should contact the manager immediately so corrective action can be taken
• No seating in the clubhouse or deck area. Golfers must exit the building after making purchases or using the restroom
• Foam inserts have been place in the bottom of all golf cups to avoid the necessity of touching any surface other than their ball
• A bucket of disinfectant is located next to the rental carts - golfers are to wipe down the cart prior to use, and staff wipes down the carts after the key is turned back in
• Only one golfer to a cart (they have halved the price for two-person rental to help accommodate this)
• No more than five people golfing in a group
• Ball washers have been removed (surface with multiple touches)
• Flags stay in at all times (surface with multiple touches)
- The outdoor restroom facilities have been closed to more closely monitor the cleaning of the clubhouse restrooms
• No rakes at the sand traps (raking will be done by the grounds crew each day)
• Extra care is being taken to wipe down any surfaces inside the clubhouse after patrons move through
• Extra care by employees to wash hands after handling of money
Additional measures being taken include signage on the clubhouse reminding golfers to maintain social distancing, particularly on the tee box and around the greens.
People who make a purchase or pick up a score card will also be given a social distancing flyer as an extra reminder.
There are some specific regulations concerning alcohol at golf courses, as well.
Congregating at the club house patio while consuming alcoholic beverages is not allowed. Consumption of alcoholic beverages must be limited to the golf course per the advisory.
The club house can sell alcoho-to-go to drink on the golf course. Additionally, beer carts are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages on the golf course because the course is included in the permanent liquor license.
Rother cautioned the rules surrounding coronavirus social distancing are ever changing, however, and things could change quickly.
“There will be new Directed Health Measures soon, and I am not sure if there will be anything in there about golf courses or not,” she said.