Members of San Joaquin CC are asking the city of Fresno, Calif. to reconsider its position on golf courses during the current shelter-in-place order that allows only “essential” businesses to remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic. Also: Cleveland CC in Shelby, N.C. opens its golf course to the public; the operator of Gleneagles GC in San Francisco starts a GoFundMe page; a Pennsylvania course sues the state for the right to reopen, and a Canadian city threatens golfers violating no-play orders with fines of up to $100,000.
Here is C+RB‘s latest roundup and summary of club-related developments surrounding the pandemic that have recently been reported. Please send updates on what your property is doing that you would like to share with the C+RB community to [email protected].
All of C+RB’s daily updates on the coronavirus situation can be found at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/category/covid-19/.
—Members of San Joaquin Country Club are asking the city of Fresno, Calif. to reconsider its position on golf courses during the current shelter-in-place order that allows only “essential” businesses to remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Fresno Bee reported. Fresno’s shelter-in-place orders, issued by Mayor Lee Brand with the backing of the Fresno City Council, have been in effect since March 19 as part of the city’s efforts to limit the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19.
“There are people who are outside, walking around at the parks, in their neighborhoods, on the streets,” local attorney Adam Stirrup said. “And that’s all encouraged as long as people maintain social distancing. We respect that.
“What we’re asking is for the city to allow the club’s private members to walk their golf course and play golf.”
A letter to Brand and City Manager Wilma Quan dated March 27 written on Stirrup’s law firm’s letterhead, requested that members of the private club regain access to the golf course, The Bee reported. The business portion of the club (restaurant and pro shop) would remain closed, and public access to the golf course would be prohibited.
“By preventing members at private country clubs from using their facilities, you are depriving them of their private property rights and the rights of these individuals to the use and enjoyment of their private property without due process,” Stirrup wrote. “There is nothing in the governor’s orders that indicates private country clubs cannot be used for golf purposes as long as social distancing is maintained and restaurant facilities are closed.”
—Cleveland Country Club in Shelby, N.C. has opened tee times for non-members.
“We wanted to give back to our community by providing the unique opportunity to experience the Cleveland Country Club lifestyle,” said General Manager Allyson Darling. “With exercise and sunshine being essential to keep stress levels low, we are proud to open our doors and showcase our beautiful course to the Shelby community, while enforcing procedures that ensure maximum safety and enjoyment for our staff and our players.”
Cleveland Country Club has adapted many operating procedures to keep members and guests safe, while also enforcing social distancing. These procedures include:
-Spreading out tee times to prevent overcrowding
-Removing all community food and beverage stations
-Removing all golf course towels, bunker rakes, and ball washers
-Lifting the cups on the greens to avoid golfer contact
-Providing hand sanitizer and wipes at all amenity centers
-Frequently sanitizing all high-traffic surfaces
-Increasing associate training on safety and sanitation techniques
“At Cleveland Country Club, the health and safety of our associates, members and guests is our first priority,” said Whitney Crouse, Co-Founder of Bobby Jones Links. “By enacting strict best practices, we can offer our guests and members a safe way to practice social distancing while enjoying their favorite sport.”
—Gleneagles Golf Course, which is owned by the city of San Francisco, but independently operated for the past 16 years by local businessman Tom Hsieh, is teetering on the brink of closure after California Gov. Gavin Newsom shuttered all non-essential businesses, including golf courses, on March 15. Hsieh has established a gofundme page where he is asking for donations to help keep the property running until he can open for business. So far, he has raised a little more than $19,000 of his $75,000 goal.
The city owns six golf properties, including well known Sharp Park and Harding Park facilities, but Gleneagles is the only one that does not receive municipal support.
All funds raised, he says, “will be used to keep a small crew working on the grounds, watering the property properly through May and helping us meet other fixed financial obligations. I cannot guarantee that even with your support we will make it to the end but it will give us a fighting chance.”
—Blueberry Hill Golf Club in Russell, Pa. is suing the state for the right to reopen, The New York Times reported. Gov. Tom Wolf, on March 19, introduced an initiative to categorize businesses as “life-sustaining” or not, shuttering golf courses among the latter.
“I do not understand why Mr. Wolf is able to deem this business life-sustaining and this one not,” Blueberry Hill General Manager Jim Roth said. “I think the governor might have overstepped his boundaries.”
—The city is Brampton, Ontario issued new social distancing bylaws signed by Mayor Patrick Brown that state anyone caught playing golf on city courses will face a fine of anywhere from $500 to a whopping $100,000 (in Canadian dollars), GOLF.com reported. All parks and playgrounds have been closed in Brampton since March 26, but residents have been flouting the rules, forcing Brown to take further action to prevent residents from using closed city properties.
“These fines will ensure that those that disrespect the advice of public health to keep us all safe – there will be consequences for those actions,” Brown said in a report by CityNews.
—Diamond Resorts will offer free rooms at all of its open properties for frontline medical personnel and first responders fighting the coronavirus outbreak, KSNV reported. The timeshare company said in a statement that rooms can give people a way to practice social distancing while providing critical care.
“We have instituted stringent safety procedures to assist those at higher risk of exposure while protecting the health of our team members,” Diamond CEO Mike Flaskey said in a statement. “This includes contactless check-in and check-out, additional cleaning protocols and a 72-hour offline time for rooms between stays.”
Find a list of properties here.
—Grecian Delight Foods donated multiple truckloads of food, totaling 25,000 pounds, to The Salvation Army, Operation Blessing International and St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Schaumburg, Illinois, to help facilitate hunger relief efforts stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Donated food, including Grecian Delight’s flatbreads, specialty meats, sauces and plant-based proteins, will be distributed to food pantries, homeless shelters and soup kitchens in the surrounding Chicagoland area and throughout the country.
“Our hearts and thoughts go out to all of those who have been affected by this worldwide crisis,” said Peter Parthenis, Jr., President and CEO of Grecian Delight. “At Grecian Delight, we care deeply for people and feel we have an inherent responsibility to provide essential food and supplies.”
Grecian Delight plans to continue donating to the community during the pandemic and beyond.
“It is a long-standing tradition of the Parthenis family to help those in their time of need. We are fully committed to extending relief efforts to local charities during this crisis,” Parthenis said. “We want to give back to the community that has given us so much support over the years.”
—B. Draddy, a subsidiary of Summit Golf Brands, reprogrammed embroidery machines in its Wisconsin apparel shop to produce hospital masks to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Draddy is able to convert material from one golf polo into about four masks and can produce 500-1000 masks per day.
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