DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) — “Phone’s been ringing off the hook,” Andrew Welnetz, Golf Professional at De Pere’s Hilly Haven Golf Course said Thursday afternoon. “People are excited.”
The excited calls come after Governor Tony Evers announced an extension to the Safer at Home order that lightens some restrictions, including allowing golf courses to open.
Courses will be allowed to open on April 24, giving them time to get ready to run under new rules.
“We will definitely be turning away people based on the amount of interest we’ve gotten today,” Welnetz said.
That’s because the new rules include scheduling restrictions, which will see golf courses spacing out golfers more than they normally would.
“You cannot have golf carts, we have to spread out our tee times, so there’s many safety guidelines that we have to follow,” Corey Feller, PGA Professional at Sherwood’s High Cliff Golf Course said.
“We’re going to try out ten, 15-minute intervals, see how that works,” Welnetz added. “It’ll be walking only.”
Another restriction: courses can open, but clubhouses and pro shops cannot.
Golfers will also have to sign-up and pay for tee times online or by phone only.
“It’ll be a big transition for us because you know a lot of our revenue comes from pro shop sales, food and beverage sales, and all that stuff’s really going to be cut down at this point,” Feller told Local 5.
Even with the restrictions, golfers are excited to get out on the green.
“Cooped up indoors for the last month, you start to go stir crazy,” Welnetz said, “and right from the get-go we’ve talked about how golf is one of those sports where you can maintain that social distancing.”
They’ll be social distancing and golfing.
“Opening day of golf season is something that people look forward to every single year,” Welnetz said.