COVID-19 Updates

This page will be updated regularly with any COVID-19 updates that pertain to the golf industry.
Updated: May 23 at 9 am

Resources for golf courses

USGA COVID-19 Resource Center – LINK

Back2Golf Operations Playbook – LINK

May 22 – Updated WSGA schedule announced, including the cancellation of remaining Senior Tour events – LINK

May 13 – Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order that closed businesses to limit spread of coronavirus – LINK

May 11 – Governor Evers Emergency Order #36 – LINK

Gov. Tony Evers today announced another turn of the dial on Safer at Home to add even more opportunities for Wisconsin businesses to get back to work in a safe and responsible way.

Emergency Order #36, signed today by Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, allows all standalone or strip-mall based retail stores to offer in-person shopping for up to five customers at a time while maintaining required social distancing practices.

We have confirmed with the WEDC that this includes pro shops, which may open immediately.

April 27 – Governor Evers Emergency Order #34 – LINK

This afternoon Governor Evers issued Executive Emergency Order #34. In part, this order (beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday April 29th) includes the use of motorized carts.  The full order is in the link above but below is a list of those things that will be allowed beginning on Wednesday, April 29.

*The entire order must be followed but highlighted points are a major change to operations.

  1. Golfers may rent golf carts and push carts.*
    1. Rentals must be paid for on-line or by phone.
    2. Carts must be cleaned after each use.
    3. Golfers may use their own personal carts.
    4. Single rider cars only unless two people from the same household.  Those two may share a golf car.  This is consistent with #2 below. Social Distancing Requirements must be observed at all times between golfers, unless the players reside in the same living unit or household.
  2. Tee times
    1. All tee times and payments must be made in advance online or by phone.
    2. Tee times must be spaced to avoid multiple foursomes from clustering or gathering at any stage of the course.
  3. Clubhouses and pro shops must remain closed. Except for food and drink take-out provided by a clubhouse restaurant or bar and to use restroom facilities, customers or golfers are not permitted inside any buildings.
  4. Restaurants and bars on the premise may remain open, with the following restrictions:
    1. Take-out or delivery service only.
    2. Customers may enter only for the purpose of ordering, pick up, and paying for food or beverage or both.
    3. No seating may be provided.
    4. Food and drink may not be consumed at the bar or restaurant, either indoors or outdoors. However, food or drink may be consumed on the course while playing.
    5. Delivery of food or drink may be made by staff on golf carts to golfers on the course (beverage carts).
    6. Cease any self-service operations of salad bars, beverage stations, and buffets.
    7. Customers are prohibited from self-dispensing any unpackaged food or beverage.
  5. All driving ranges and miniature golf must remain closed. Putting and chipping greens may remain open so long as social distancing is maintained at all times.
  6. All maintenance work and groundskeepers must:
    1. Restrict the number of workers present on premises to no more than is strictly necessary to perform the essential operation.
    2. Increase standards of facility cleaning and disinfection to limit worker and patron exposure to COVID-19, as well as adopting protocols to clean and disinfect in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in the workplace.
    3. Adopt policies to prevent workers from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or have had contact with a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
    4. Maintain social distancing of six (6) feet between all people, including staff and customers.
    5. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer.
    6. Cover coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands).
    7. Regularly clean high-touch surfaces.
    8. Do not shake hands.
    9. Following all other public health recommendations issued by DHS and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
  7. All other functions or business activity on the golf course including pro shops and other sales may only continue under Minimum Basic Operations.

Source: WEDC

April 23 – Update regarding use of golf carts

Per the WEDC, Golf courses may allow for the use of golf carts by handicapped patrons. This use is limited to one patron in a cart, with a handicap placard or flag displayed. Golf carts used for this purpose must be sanitized between each use.”

April 21 – Update from the Wisconsin State Golf Association
Due to the extension of the “Safer at Home” order, the Wisconsin State Golf Association is announcing that the following events through June 4th have been CANCELED.  These events will not be rescheduled and full refunds will be issued to all participants.

Senior Tour #1 – The Legend at Bergamont
Net Partners #1 – The Legend at Bergamont
USGA US Open Qualifying – Hidden Glen GC
Senior Tour #2 – Hidden Glen GC
Net Partners #2 – Naga-Waukee GC
Senior Tour #3 & #4 – Maple Bluff CC
Member Series #1 – Whistling Straits
Net Partners #3 – Washington County GC
Senior Tour #5 – The GC at Cedar Creek
Senior Tour #6 – La Crosse CC
Four-Ball Championship – Lake Arrowhead GC
Net Partners #4 – The Bog
Senior Tour #7 – The Bog
USGA US Senior Open Qualifying – Washington County GC

The “Safer at Home” order does allow golf courses to re-open on April 24th.  Please be safe and follow ALL guidelines while enjoying some recreational golf.  We will resume tournament play when it is safe for all participants, staff and volunteers. The WSGA will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and provide updates when new information becomes available. 

April 16 – Governor Evers extends Safer at Home and opens golf courses: LINK
Today, Governor Tony Evers extended the Safer at Home order through May 26th.  Included in this update, more businesses and activities are being allowed to open back up, including golf courses. 

Starting April 24 at 8:00 am, golf courses in Wisconsin may open for walking patron only.  Restrictions are in place for booking tee times and collecting payment from customers.  Clubhouses, pro shops, and practice areas/driving ranges are to remain closed. 

April 13 – Competitions Update

The WSGA is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will provide another update next week regarding future events after Governor Evers releases an update regarding the Safer at Home order.  The current Safer at Home order remains in effect until 8 a.m. on Friday, April 24th, or until a superseding order is issued.  The WSGA will issue full refunds to participants of any events that are cancelled due to COVID-19.

April 10 – Governor Evers comments on golf in WTMJ radio interview: LINK

As for the capability to go golfing, the Governor conveyed there are higher priorities in play.

“I know that’s been a hot topic which is interesting, because we have life and death situations going on,” he said.

“We’re not at the point now to say we’re going to open up golf courses, but we will continue to monitor the science on that. When it’s time to do it, we will do it.”

April 3 – Paycheck Protection Program available to small businesses (including golf courses): LINK

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.

Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

April 2 – Wisconsin Department of Health Services Facebook Q&A: LINK

WEDC Secretary/CEO Missy Hughes (39:21 mark of video:

“The order is very specific about many different types of businesses and as we’ve looked at the order, things like liquor stores are approved and allowed and golf courses because of the social nature of golf courses . . . golf is a social game. I get that some folks are like well it’s out getting exercise and being able to do that, but there’s an aspect of clubhouses and bathrooms that have made us say that golf courses are going to stay closed for this time being.”

April 1 – Tavern League of Wisconsin supports golf courses re-opening: LINK

“Taverns and restaurants in Wisconsin will have been closed to regular business for 38 days after the current Executive Order expires. Without the additional help of state government the hospitality industry will suffer significant permanent loss.

The federal stimulus bill is a start but more is needed on the state and local level to enable our Members to survive. We need action. We need help. We are doing our part, we need state government to do its part.

* Allow golf courses to open to golfers only.”

March 31 – Wisconsin golf industry letter to Gov. Evers: LINK

March 27: Wisconsin Legislature letter to Gov. Evers requesting golf courses to re-open: LINK

March 27: Golf update during COVID-19 media briefing: LINK

Reporter Question: Has there been any discussion or conversations about allowing golf courses to stay open in the state?

Chief Legal Counsel to Gov. Evers, Ryan Nilsestuen: Under the current order, places of amusement or entertainment are considered non-essential businesses, so what the order does is it classifies based off of what the U.S. Department of Homeland Security does. We also had the benefit of looking at what other states do and in order to minimize the amount of contact and help bend the curve, one of the categories of businesses that were deemed non-essential are entertainment places. So whether it’s a golf course or movie theater or arcade they are deemed non-essential and therefore cannot be open during the Safer at Home order.

March 26 – Competitions Update

Due to the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19, The Wisconsin State Golf Association is announcing that ALL WSGA EVENTS THROUGH MAY 11 HAVE BEEN POSTPONED OR CANCELED in accordance with the current CDC recommendations.

SENIOR TOUR #1 – The Legend at Bergamont (POSTPONED)
NET PARTNERS #1 – The Legend at Bergamont (POSTPONED)

The WSGA is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will provide another update by April 10th regarding future events.  We will do our best to reschedule events if they can be conducted safely and in accordance with CDC guidelines, but first need to understand the overall impact COVID-19 will have on our 2020 tournament schedule.  We will send an email to participants of postponed events with additional information.

March 26 – MEDIA Inquiries

All media inquiries should be directed to:
Rob Jansen, Executive Director Wisconsin State Golf Association
Phone: (262) 202-5457

March 25 – Safer at Home FAQs issued by Governor Evers: LINK

Will golf courses remain open?
Golf courses are not considered essential businesses. Staff can perform minimum basic operations as defined in the order.

March 24 – Safer at Home order issued by Governor Evers: LINK

4b Closures. All of the following facilities shall be closed: 

Places of public amusement and activity. Whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to amusement parks, carnivals, water parks, licensed public or private swimming pools, splash pads, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, playgrounds, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, movie and other theaters, concert and music halls, country clubs, social clubs, and gyms and fitness centers.

March 23 – Wisconsin golf industry letter to Gov. Evers: LINK

March 20 – USGA Rules and Handicapping guidance during COVID-19 era: LINK

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