ASHLAND, Ore. — After being shut down for over a month during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Oak Knoll Golf Course reopened on May 1 under strict social distancing guidelines.
Ashland Parks and Recreation listed the following requirements in a press release for the course during this stage of the reopening process:
- Golfers must "practice physical distancing and stay a minimum of six (6) feet from others. Physical distancing marshals will be out on the course to ensure compliance."
- "The clubhouse will remain closed. Transactions will occur at the transaction-window and only credit cards will be accepted, no cash."
- "Rakes, ball washers, and benches have been removed to limit contact."
- "Players will also notice cup liners in the hole; please do not remove the flagstick."
- "Groups of three or less are permitted to play, foursomes will not be allowed."
- "Pull carts and rental sets will not be available."
- "Walking is encouraged. If you would like a cart, the carts are single rider only. (Exceptions may be made if players are from the same household, with regular interactions. We are not taking reservations for golf carts.)"
- "Some mats have been removed on the driving range to ensure physical distancing. You may have to wait."
RELATED: Social distancing with golf
During the first day of play, Oak Knoll's Golf Course Manager and Head PGA Professional Patrick Oropallo was happy with how golfers were taking the new changes.
"I'm hearing cautious optimism," Oropallo said. "People are happy to be back, they're happy to be golfing. They love being outside, but they want to do it in a way that feels safe."
And the golfers reiterated what Oropallo said as they enjoyed getting back out on their home course after not being able to play it since first closed on March 23.
"Physical distancing: golf was built for it," said Joe Maurer, an Ashland resident since 1975. "Bottom line is yeah, I'm really happy the course is back open again."
The on-site restaurant, Mary's BBQ also reopened on Friday, serving meals-to-go and to eat while out on the course.