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Golfers flocking to Tucson courses amid pandemic

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TUCSON - Governor Doug Ducey said it himself on Monday, Arizona is not at the point where he’s had to institute a stay-at-home mandate as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

As a result Tucson city parks remain open to the public and that includes the city’s five golf courses: 

Golfers have flooded those courses this past week to partake in one of the few outdoor social activites still available to residents. 

The courses have shutdown dine-in services at their clubhouses. Although they are still serving food on a walk-in basis and the clubhouse at Randolph is even offering “on course” delivery to golfers. 

OB Sports Inc. operates the five city courses and has had an open line of communication with the City of Tucson on proper procedures to keep golfers safe. 

Not all the courses in Southern Arizona have remained open. 

The City of Tucson has kept its parks open so far during the initial outbreak of the Coronavirus Pandemic and this includes the city's five golf courses

Crooked Tree Golf Course, a privately-run facility on the north side, closed to the public on March 18 to evaluate the COVID-19 situation. 

Forty Niner Country Club on the east side has instituted some of the most stringent guidelines since the virus outbreak. 

The course has covered all ball washers, as well as removed on course water coolers and rakes from their sand traps. 

Dorado Country Club has turned over the hole cups so the ball can be removed easily with a two-finger pinch. 

They are also advising golfers not to touch the flag sticks, cart attendants are no longer permitted to help with golfers’ bags and no more than four people at a time are allowed in the clubhouse. 

COVID-19 has brought to a halt one of the great traditions of a social round of golf, the post-match shaking of hands on the 18th green.

Tucson Parks and Rec deputy director Brent Dennis said Mayor Regina Romero is on board with the courses remaining open for now. 

“We’re really pleased with how they’re being managed and how the public is responding and utilizing them,” said Dennis. 

When asked what could change that mindset, Dennis indicated the city would reassess opening parks and golf courses if Ducey decided to move toward a total shutdown thus issuing what is commonly being referred to as a stay-at-home or shelter in place order. 

Copyright 2020 News 4 Tucson. All rights reserved. 

David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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