We have had many questions today about the closure of Lake of the Woods and L.A. Nickell Golf Courses and we wanted to provide an explanation. The Public Health and Human Services order did not specifically close golf courses but in reviewing operations it is the decision of the Parks and Recreation Director that the golf courses close for the period of Order 2020-03 based on the following:
– It is impossible for us to allow golfers on the course without violating required social distances. This includes transactions between golfers and clubhouse attendants. Staff would be in contact with more than 10 people per hour.
– Prior to this order, we modified operations to reduce the number of golfers coming in contact with our staff and we still had times when more than 10 were in the facility.
– Keeping the golf courses open brings hundreds of people to one location over the course of a day. It creates health and safety concerns for patrons of the golf course as well as staff who come in contact with all of these people each day.
– Staff took steps on the golf courses to limit contact between groups including spacing out tee times, flipping cups upside down, recommending that no one remove the flagstick and pulling all ball washers and trash cans. We also asked everyone to take single carts to limit riding together. Unfortunately, not all golfers would follow these regulations and the social distancing recommendation was difficult to manage with groups of 3 and 4 playing golf on each hole.
– There is a lack of staff available to keep the courses open. Many temporary and part-time staff have chosen to stay safely away from the golf course (many are college students who have left Columbia at this time). Even keeping one course open would be difficult. Sanitizing of golf carts and related shared equipment such as flag poles, ball washers, and restrooms require significant resources.
The safety of our patrons and employees is always our top priority. We hope that by implementing these closures, we’re doing our part to help our community’s health by working to flatten the curve.
Cart Status: Cart Path Only.
Driving Range Status: Range Closed.
Monday – Friday: 9:00am – Dark
Saturday – Sunday & Holidays: 9:00am – Dark