Unless there’s an exemption from the State House, some 400 golf courses across Massachusetts will be out of bounds to the playing public as of Tuesday at noon, in keeping with the statewide stay-at-home advisory issued Monday by Governor Charlie Baker in light of the coronavirus epidemic.
The Massachusetts Golf Association, which last week made a pitch to keep its some 360 member courses open if such an order were invoked, awaited word Monday afternoon from the Department of Health on whether clubs could remain open.
"I’m trying to glean some additional information,” said Jesse Menachem, the MGA’s executive director and CEO. "There’s a lot of us who are helping to lead the industry that are, frankly, not clear right now.
"We are not trying to promote people to play or not — we just want facilities to have the ability to make their own decisions rather than be mandated.”
If nothing else, as Menachem noted, the MGA would like courses to continue having workers on site to maintain their grounds, particularly with the imminent arrival of warmer weather and the growing season.
Baker’s mandate ordering all nonessential businesses to close is set to expire April 7. The growing season may not be here yet, but courses, many of them upward of 200 acres, have constant maintenance demands, which increase as the new season approaches in New England.
"The short-term priority,” noted Menachem, whose office is located at the TPC Boston grounds in Norton, "is going to be to make a formal request to allow course maintenance practices to continues. We really want to protect assets out there, and facilities want to protect their No. 1 asset.”