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Moore: Washington golf courses are still open — and taking precautions

Golf courses in Washington remain open despite much of the state shut down. (Getty)

Golf courses are still on Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s allowed activities list and were open for business over the weekend. Maybe some courses have closed on their own, but the three that I went to were open – the Golf Club at Newcastle, Twin Lakes Country Club and Druids Glen.

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I mentioned on Twitter that I had mixed feelings about playing golf during the coronavirus pandemic, wondering if it was stupid and selfish.

“If you have to ask, then it probably is,” tweeted Tony Tweeter.

“Stay home,” tweeted Chris Pas. “Help the nurses and doctors by not being a statistic.”

Seahawklowry asked: “If you brought it home to your family and they reacted poorly to the virus, would you be able to live with yourself?”

Then again, a majority of the tweeters said I should go ahead and play and get outdoors while being aware of social distancing.

All three courses took extra precautions. At Newcastle, only walkers were allowed. If you wanted to hit balls at the driving range, you had to call the course and give them a credit-card number. In return, you would get the PIN number that dispensed range balls into your bucket. Every other space, or bay, at the range was closed to keep at least 6 feet between one player and another.

At Twin Lakes, the cups were pulled an inch or two out of the holes. The flagsticks remained in the cups and everyone was instructed to leave them alone and not touch them. If your putt hit any part of the cup, you got credit for making the putt. Ball washers on the course were off-limits, covered up with plastic.

At Druids Glen, an attendant stopped every car as it arrived, asking if anyone was feeling sick. Presumably if the answer had been “yes,” they would have been asked to turn around. Red tape marked the floor in front of the check-in desk, spaced 6 feet apart. Plastic inserts were placed above the cups in a similar fashion to what we saw at Twin Lakes.

Golf is one of the few allowed activities left, and 200 players were on the course at Druids Glen from sun-up to sundown on Sunday, taking advantage of the last day of good weather in a while.

Maybe it was the last chance to play golf for some time, or golf could continue. Question is, should it?

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