It’s early on a Monday morning at the golf course, the sun is rising and the grass is still dewy in spots. The chirp of birds is accompanied by the loud motors of lawnmowers, all three hovering around the course like bees on a flower.
However, this Monday isn’t just like any other at Colockum Ridge; it is the day before recreation sites and public golf courses across the state are set to reopen after being shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The return to the course comes with conditions though, in compliance with the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation. Courses are now required to keep a log of all golfers on the course along with their contact information, and only two players are allowed to play together; more than two are permitted only if they are from the same household.
As for equipment, golf carts will still be available, but only one person can ride per cart, according to guidelines posted on the Washington Golf Association website. Courses also are not allowed to rent clubs and other equipment to players.
Players are also expected to continue to follow social distancing guidelines. The courses are also required to remove any benches or resting places, and players are asked to not remove flags from the holes on the green.
Regular sanitation and wiping down of surfaces will be required by the course staff as well. The golf carts will also be sanitized after they are returned, said Scott Calkins, manager of the pro shop and restaurant at Colockum Ridge, adding, “we’re going to be by the rules.”
The restaurant and pro shop will also reopen with the course. The restaurant will be serving to-go food orders and although the pro shop will be open, most of business will be done on the phone, Calkins said.
Tee times for Tuesday were almost entirely filled, he said, but the remainder of the week is still fairly open. Calkins encouraged local golfers to call ahead to book a tee time at least for the first week after reopening.
From the phone calls he has already received for tee times, Calkins said the golfers are ready to get out on the course.