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Local golf courses struggle with decision to remain open or close at Governor’s urging

Some clubs announced they were closing before reversing course

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Six feet apart, no close contact, much less than 10 to a group.  Playing golf appears to a safe activity out on the course.

“That definitely was part of the equation when we made the decision with that and also we’ve taken some precautionary measures,” explained Hanover Country Club Head Professional Brian Leib.  “We are wiping and disinfecting the carts, there’s only one player allowed per golf cart so we are trying to take those measures as well to make sure everybody stays safe.”

Labeled as non-essential during an address Monday by Governor Wolf, many local public and private golf clubs are struggling with the decision to remain open or close for two weeks as the Governor suggested.

Hanover Country Club is open for golf but their food and beverage operation is temporarily shut down.  Cool Creek Golf Club in Wrightsville made the call to close for two weeks on Monday and so far are sticking to that decision.  Briarwood Golf Club in York County was leaning towards closing after the Governor’s message.  They canceled their St. Patrick’s Day Scramble set for Tuesday and later that afternoon held a meeting where it was decided they would stay open at this time.  Good weather led to some brisk mid-March business at Briarwood on Wednesday.  

All of the clubs that decide to stay open are taking extra precautions to reduce contact in common areas like the pro shop, lounge and dining sections.  At Hanover CC, they have no rakes in the bunkers.  

“I think for most people, reality has set in,” said Leib.  “This is a very serious matter, our members realize that golf is a very important part of our facility but at the same time, safety comes first.  They are happy we are open, we are outside and we can keep that distance between each other so I think going forward if there’s something that happens in the near future, we’ll continue to stay open unless something else comes about that they say we can’t do that.”

Hanover CC will resume food and beverage services next week for dinner takeout.  At Lancaster Country Club, the club is closed but they are currently serving takeout and delivery.  They have 60 food and beverage employees and 50 percent of the orders is going to an employee fund so their part-time staffers can maintain their income.