For the first time in nearly two months, you can play golf all across the United States
On Monday morning, New Hampshire became the 50th state to reopen its golf courses since the COVID-19 pandemic first forced public and private clubs across the U.S. to pause operations. Last week, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maryland also lifted their respective golf bans. Today marks the first time since March 19 that golf courses are open in every state.
Globally, golf is also slowing ramping up, especially in Europe. England will lift its golf ban on May 13, and Ireland is set to reopen May 18. Both nations plan to initiate new social-distancing measures for their golf clubs. In England, golfers must play alone or with family members. Ireland is initiating a five-step plan for golf to resume, with the initial reopening this week to include more spacing between tee times, a max of three players per group, and a 5-kilometer-limit on all golfers who travel to play the course.
Golf in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland remains suspended. In Canada, the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia are also closed, but Saskatchewan will reopen May 15.
According to a survey released Sunday by Golf Now, which pulls from a database of 5,350 U.S. golf facilities, since April 21st, courses report an overall increase in total rounds for 15 of past 19 days, compared to the same dates last year. It adds up to a 34% rise in tee times nationally compared to this time last year.
Of course, some markets have been hit hard by course suspensions and are only now getting back online. But overall golf is trending in one direction, just in time for spring.
Year-to-date risers (number of courses reporting)
Utah (11) +273%
South Dakota (8) +233%
Minnesota (68%) +128%
Wisconsin (46) +121%
Ontario (19) -90%
Alberta (16) -59%
Central Illinois (17) -46%
Myrtle Beach (20) -42%
Chicago (167) -41%
Lansing, Mich. (32) -35%
Minnesota and Wisconsin both suspended golf briefly during COVID-19, but a mild winter allowed golf season to start early, and both states are reportedly ahead so far this year. Canada’s golf season had barely started before the pandemic arrived in North America, and many of its courses remain suspended. Michigan and Illinois suspended golf for several weeks and only recently reopened. Myrtle Beach was limited to residents-only. Each reopened region is reporting recent spikes in tee times.
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