PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Golfers will be back out on Illinois courses next Friday.
Now, area course directors are receiving the rules of how to golf while social distancing. Starting May 1, “course closed” signs will be picked up, and golfers will have the green light to swing away.
The phones have been ringing off the hook at golf courses in central Illinois since the amendment to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order.
“My phone started ringing at 3 p.m. for people to make tee times at the golf courses,” director of golf operations at Peoria Park District Greg Walker said.
He said that due to furloughs, some of the management had to work to keep courses ready to go for May 1.
“The courses are in incredible shape right now,” Walker said. “I have been privileged over the last two weeks working on the maintenance crew at Kellogg.”
Course directors received guidelines Friday afternoon. All tee times must be set up by phone or online. No golf carts are allowed; only privately-owned pull carts.
Also, there must be at least 15 minutes between tee times.
Matt Rogers, the general manager for WeaverRidge Golf Club and Metamora Fields, said due to the pandemic, all hourly workers were laid off. That is until his courses received government funding.
“We had been fortunate enough to bring on our full maintenance staff thanks to the PPP loan and both golf courses are fully staffed and getting cut, ready to go,” Rogers said.
He said not having golfers is not the only thing hurting his clubs financially.
“There’s been a lot to do as far as moving golf outings, and weddings, that were planned at the beginning of the season,” he said.
Clubhouses and pro shops will remain closed until further notice as well, while course restaurants can open back up for takeout only.
Most local courses will open around 7-7:30 a.m. May 1. For more on the guidelines, click here.