WHITESBORO, N.Y. - Hidden Valley Golf Club re-opened on March 27 with new guidelines in place to keep golfers safe during the uncertain times of the coronavirus pandemic.
New rules put in place aim to keep physical contact to a minimum, such as keeping just one person per cart, recognizing the six-foot social distancing rule, and limiting the snack bar to take-out only to prevent a build up of customers in the clubhouse.
Hidden Valley staff also sanitizes golf carts after each use and nightly by power-washing it with a disinfectant detergent spray.
"On my end, it's a little more work," said Hidden Valley Golf Club owner, Kevin McGrellis. "[We] sanitize everything. The keys when they come back in, I soak them in Clorox. It's constant cleaning"
On the course itself, the club has cut pool noodles and placed pieces in the cup so the ball doesn't fall all the way into the hole. This prevents golfers from having to touch the flag stick.
The club has put up signs all over reminding guests to adhere to the new rules. So far, McGrellis said the response has been positive.
"Most people are pretty respectful," he said. "They are happy just to get out and move around."
Golf can be an escape for people under normal circumstances. Now, it may be necessary to bring some good into what has been a sub-par situation for daily life.
Still, while golf provides a way for people to be physically active and enjoy nature, the guidelines are important to keep everybody save and having fun.
"Just follow the rules the rules that we've been given," said McGrellis. "If you want to come out you can, but you've got to follow the rules."
Hidden Valley will continue to monitor federal, state and county rules and regulations as the pandemic situation continues, and will alter plans as necessary.