SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As of 8 p.m. Monday, all public and private golf courses in Onondaga County are ordered to close until April 28.
The order does not apply to Green Lakes State Park Golf Course, which the state would not let Onondaga County include in this order.
At his Sunday briefing on COVID-19, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said, “So the datas driving our decisions, not the emotional side of it, but you look at the other side of it, people are being asked to stay at home yet people are going out with their buddies playing golf, right, does that seem like we’re all really hunkering down on this.”
The state has allowed golf courses to be open as long as owners follow a strict set of CDC and State guidelines.
Those include restricting access to indoor areas like the clubhouses and restaurants/bars, one person per golf cart, no sharing equipment and social distancing must be adhered to at all times.
Courses have been finding creative ways to abide by the rule of no touching of the flagstick. Lakeshore Yacht and Country Club has turned the cups upside down to form a cone so the ball doesn’t drop in the hole.
“We had Cicero Police come to the course and ask us how many guys are playing together, are people sharing golf carts. We told them about what we were doing, they were very appreciative and grateful that we were following a strict set of guidelines,” says Guy Hart Jr., co-owner of Lakeshore Yacht and Country Club.
Hart is fully in support of the County Executives new order, even if it means Lakeshore will have to shut down for at least the next couple weeks.
“This is the most serious societal, moral issue that we’ve seen in our country where regular people have a duty everyday to do the right thing,” Hart tells NewsChannel 9.
McMahon says he has spoken with other County Executives, but would not name them, who are likely to announce shortly they will also be closing their golf courses.