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Governor Baker expected to reopen golf courses, report says

Workers have been allowed on courses in Massachusetts, but not golfers.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

This is a comeback story.

Golf is reopening in Massachusetts, with Governor Charlie Baker expected to make an announcement Thursday, MassLive reported Wednesday night.

The reopening will come with specific guidelines, which Baker will detail in his announcement, the report said.

Baker recently had extended his stay-at-home orders for all non-essential businesses — golf included — until May 18.

But golfers kept swinging. Joe Marin of Franklin started a petition in March, asking Baker to reopen the state’s courses. Marin had close to 40,000 signatures by Monday.

The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations had been working since the end of March for golf to be deemed essential, and on May 3 issued a statement with Mass Golf after meeting with the state’s reopening advisory board, saying they “hope to hear soon that golf can resume in the Commonwealth under the established guidelines presented.”

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It's looking more and more like Massachusetts' courses will be open again soon.Jessica Rinaldi

In a short few days of ups and downs worthy of a weekend hacker, Kettle Brook Golf Club in Paxton sent an e-mail Wednesday night proclaiming its course will reopen Friday. The e-mail was either prescient or defiant. Later Wednesday night, MassLive came out with its report.

The e-mail from Kettle Brook said the course will conform to social guidelines. A glance at the course’s online tee sheet shows every tee time accounted for.

The course owner, Cara Cullen, who also owns Wachusett Country Club in West Boylston with her three brothers, made news Monday by telling Fox News she would open her courses within the “next few days,” defying state orders at the time.

Massachusetts will be one of the last states to reopen its golf courses. Massachusetts had been one of four states still enforcing a statewide ban on golf, though New Hampshire’s courses will reopen May 11. Maryland and Vermont are the only other states that have no date set to reopen.

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Jenna Ciccotelli of Boston.com contributed to this report.


Jim Hoban can be reached at james.hoban@globe.com.