GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - With the statewide shelter-in-place order now in effect, golf courses that remain open are implementing new restrictions in order to prioritize safety for their customers.
“People are in one cart at a time. We are sanitizing the carts after each use,” said President of Great Southern Golf Club Ellis Hill. “We are limiting access to the pro shop to one person at a time to conduct business, and then move back out. We don’t want people congregating on the tees, we want one person to hit, and then the next person can go and hit so we maintain that social distancing.”
Great Southern Golf Club has also eliminated sand trap rakes to reduce the number of objects touched and shared by golfers.
Despite a slightly different feel for the course, the staff is just thankful that the opportunity to play safely still exists.
“You are outdoors, it is safe,” Hill said. “Encouraging individual outdoor activities like jogging on the beach - we’ve seen some people doing that already. As long as that social distancing can be maintained as we’ve been doing, it’s good. And we’re happy about it, we really are.”
It’s not just the staff feeling grateful.
“Rather than staying at home, we can get out here and everybody observes the guidelines, the club observes the guidelines," said golfer Billy Applewhite. "So we feel pretty comfortable coming out and playing.”
“We need to focus on things other than the negative aspect of it," another golfer, Andy Schmidt, said. "We have a group of guys that play at this club that care about one another, they look out for each other, we make sure that we all keep the proper interval.”
For most, the number of strokes they tally on the course is less relevant than the opportunity to take those strokes at all.
“We’ve had our ups and downs, some good days and some bad days," Schmidt said. "But just being out here and being part of it is very important.”
For our list of businesses still open during the governor’s order, CLICK HERE.