KENDALLVILLE — With temperatures in the high 50s on Wednesday and the sun shinning, area golfers flocked to open golf courses in northeast Indiana.
Hoosiers are under a stay-at-home order, in an effort to slow spread of coronavirus, but amid that order are exceptions for golf courses to operate carefully and for people to enjoy some outdoor activities — with social distancing measures kept in mind.
Combined with a little sun and some warmer weather, that spells golf.
Tim Dykstra, head golf professional at Noble Hawk Golf Links, in Kendallville said the course saw quite a few golfers on Wednesday.
Further north in LaGrange County Spencer Mortola, golf pro at Cedar Lake Golf Club also saw an influx of golfers.
“It was crazy busy yesterday,” he said.
Golf courses were originally listed as a non-essential business on Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Stay at Home order, which went to effect on Wednesday.
Dykstra said after lobbying from the Indiana Professional Golfers Association and state golf courses, Holcomb put rules in place allowing golf courses to open under strict guidelines.
Those guidelines put in place were explained in a letter sent to members of Cobblestone Golf Course, in Kendallville. Those guidelines included if you are sick or are not feeling good to stay at home and off the links.
All chairs have been removed from the clubhouse, all doors will be left open during business hours including restroom doors, all golfers will be given individual carts and all bunker rakes, cleaning stations and trash cans have been removed from the course.
Dykstra said employees at Noble Hawk are continually cleaning the clubhouse and golf carts to keep patrons safe.
“People are ready to get out and do something,” he said.
Mortola said golfers at his course on Wednesday were just happy the course was open.
“They didn’t care about the restrictions,” Mortola said.
Cedar Lake went a step further closing its clubhouse and restrooms. All transaction are being done through a window at the clubhouse. The course has also put hand sanitizer around the course for golfers to use.
Those courses that are open around northeast Indiana have also turned the cup liners upside down on the greens so golfers don’t have to reach into the cup to retrieve their ball. All courses are asking golfers to also leave the flags in the hole while on the green.
Glendarin Hlls Golf Club, in Angola is scheduled to open on Saturday, weather permitting.
Nate Gilchrist said the course is following all of the regulations put in place by the governor.
Tee times must be made by pre-paying online or by calling the golf shop to pre-pay. No more than four people will be allowed in the clubhouse at one time to allow for social distancing. All items from the snack bar are available for carryout.
Gilcrest said golfers are encouraged to call their orders in ahead of time or use the GPS ordering system on the carts.
“We had a good winter, everything is set and ready,” he said. “We are thankful we can provide an outlet for the community.”
Eel River Golf Course, in Churubusco is also open and adhering to all regulations that were put in place.
According to the Elks Golf Club’s answering machine the course is set to open on March 31.
Other courses around the area are heeding the governor’s order and remaining closed until the stay at home order is lifted.
Those courses include Heron Creek Golf Club, in LaGrange, Bridgewater Golf Club, in Auburn, Garrett Country Club, in Garrett and Zollner Golf Course, in Angola.