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Golfers get a treat; public courses open after three-week break

Posted at 1:36 PM, Apr 22, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Three weeks ago, Lexington closed its municipal golf courses in response to COVID-19. But as several states begin to relax some of their social distancing policies, the city deemed it safe to re-open the links, as long as players, and course managers can adhere to, and help promote distancing guidelines.

“Every cart will be disinfected before and after each use, and it’s single rider carts only, unless you’re from the same household,” said Curtis Mitchell who is the city’s golf services manager.

Mitchell also said flagsticks won’t be placed in any of the 18 holes, and each hole has a contraption that prevents the ball from dropping all the way to the bottom. Those measures will ensure that no one will be touching any of those frequently handled areas.

“No doubt being shut down at the beginning of our season hurt revenue,” Mitchell said. “But we were worried about the safety of not only the players, but our staff. We support any decision they make,” he added about the city’s leadership team, led by Mayor Linda Gorton.

Those who showed up bright and early on this sun-drenched Wednesday morning were happy to have this outlet once again.

“You better believe it,” said Steve Dunn after teeing off on the first hole. “It just feels good to be out here, hitting the ball, and moving. And not sitting in the house,” he continued.

Dunn and his two playing partners gave one another plenty of space in the tee box, then took off after their balls without being too close together.

Mitchell checked the tee sheet before speaking with LEX 18 and said it was, “booked solid” today, and that he’d be keeping an eye on the course to make sure everyone is maintaining a good distance. He also said payments for a round are being accepted on-line only, and the pro shop will remain closed during this time. So make certain you come to the course with everything you’ll need to play a round.

“If the weather is going to be like this, I highly recommend getting out here walking, even riding, get some physical fitness in, for sure,” Mitchell said.

For others, as we approach two months of being quarantined, it’s about their mental fitness as well.

“That felt good,” Dunn said. He was referring to not only how well he hit the ball, but the fact that he got a chance to hit the ball at all.