By Ken MacLeod
Publisher, Golf Oklahoma
Message to all Oklahoma golfers.
As golfers, we’re so far very fortunate in this highly uncertain time that most courses have remained open to regular play, providing a much needed outlet for fresh air, exercise, camaraderie and competition.
Let’s keep it that way by making needed changes to our normal behaviors and following the new realities at public and private courses throughout the state.
Here are some changes at courses and guidelines from Oklahoma PGA professionals on how to use the course in a safe manner.
At Bailey Ranch Course in Owasso, Director of Golf Corey Burd notes the course has taken the following steps:
- We are leaving the doors open when possible to avoid touch points.
- We have taken the pens off the counter and encouraging patrons to forgo the signing process for credit cards.
- Obviously instructing employees to use hand sanitizer after any transaction touching cash or others credit cards.
- Disinfecting carts, door knobs, bathrooms etc.
- Removing rakes, sand bottles, any non-essential things people would touch. Possibly removing flagsticks (still undecided).
- Considering single riding carts when we have enough.
At Kickingbird Golf Course in Edmond, Director of Golf Brian Soerensen has put out the following:
- Beginning Thursday, March 19 through April 19, KickingBird Grill will be offering TO-GO orders only. The inside seating areas will be closed.
- All League Play has been suspended through April 19.
- Group gatherings and group lessons have been suspended through April 19.
- Demo Day, which was originally scheduled for April 18, will be rescheduled.
- Water jugs have been removed from the golf course through April 19. Customers will be allowed to bring their own water but please no other outside beverages.
- We are cleaning cart keys, wiping down steering wheels, cleaning pin code screen on ball machine and placing hand sanitizers at restaurant and pro shop counters.
At LaFortune Park in Tulsa, Director of Golf Pat McCrate said the course has removed water jugs from the course and instituted much extra cleaning in the pro shop, restrooms and restaurant. Golfers are encouraged only to order food and drinks to go.
McCrate said both LaFortune Park and South Lakes will be renting golf cars individually as long as there is sufficient supply.
At Meadowlake Golf Course in Enid, we heard from Michael League that they are doing many of the same precautions.
- All seating inside the building has been removed, outside tables and chairs only -food and drink to go only.
- All events and meetings postponed
- Single rider carts if requested
- Encouraging walking
- Frequent sanitizing of surfaces
- Keys left in carts in “on” position
- No water jugs, ball washers, rakes or practice green flags
- Looking at possibly extending tee time intervals to 10 minutes.
Here are some other common sense protocols for the time being.
- Pay for your round quickly and get back outside. Now is not the time to be wandering the pro shop touching different items. If you know what you want, grab it and buy it, save the browsing for later.
- Leave the pin in and don’t touch it. Don’t pick up or touch the golf balls of your playing partners.
- No pre or post-round handshakes.
- No 19th hole gatherings.
- Play at a good pace, be courteous and let’s preserve this opportunity for all of us.
This will be updated with other suggestions and restrictions as other courses check in. Please be responsible and let’s do what we can to keep the courses open.