LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There’s been a lot of controversy about why golf courses are still open in the valley, after Gov. Steve Sisolak's announcement to stay at home to decrease COVID-19 expected cases in Nevada.
However, golfing has become even more popular here in Las Vegas, since it's one of the few options to have an outdoor activity and exercise at the same time.
Golf courses can currently operate if they make changes to their business. In short, clubhouses have to be closed, in order to have the golf courses open.
Coy Wood, General Manager of the Las Vegas National Golf Club explains that those changes happen before people start playing.
“We’ve stripped our golf carts of everything, we used to put bottles of water there, towels, tees, pencils, score cards. Those have all been removed. Now, all carts are sanitized completely, we even sanitize the range balls. We’ve closed our restaurant our bar, we’ve moved our check in to outside. No one is allowed in the golf shop.”
Even golf carts are one per person, unless they’re family or came together. Plus, golfers have to maintain a distance of at least 6ft while being on the course.
Employees are also taking precautions, like using gloves or face masks during their shifts, while maintaining social distancing measures.
Those changes have been noticed right away by customers, like Rick Ewing, who appreciated being able to play during this time. He takes care of his wife and he rarely leaves the house.
“It’s a big relief, instead of seeing four walls. It’s weird kind of driving down here and seeing everything closed down, like a ghost town, but I’m going to enjoy the day, it’s nice to just being able to get out and enjoy it”, he says.
Golf Hall of Famer Joe Kelly says that he’s been in constant contact with the governor and with all the other golf courses in the state, learning from each other on how to keep guests and employees safe against COVID-19.
“There’s not a safer place to be than in your house and your next choice is to be on an area that is a 150 acres that’s is wide and long, that you’re not close to anybody, you’re getting fresh air, you’re getting physical activity and you’re getting social activity, is the best you can do without being in your house coupled out every day”, says Kelly.
Not all the golf courses are currently open. If you’re interested in playing golf at one of them, contact their offices first to know their business hours and current rates.