The grass is still green for golfers in Lake Havasu City and Parker, thanks to an order by Gov. Doug Ducey this week that included golf courses as “essential” businesses, safe from coronavirus-related closures.
In counties with confirmed coronavirus cases, which now includes both La Paz and Mohave, some businesses like bars, theaters and restaurants are required to close their doors in an effort to slow the spread and promote social distancing. Also this week the governor announced a list of businesses and industries that would be deemed “essential” in the event of a wider statewide closure.
Golf courses are listed under the category of outdoor recreation.
Executive Order 2020-12 defines the exemption as “any outdoor area, park, site or trail that provides opportunities for outdoor recreation with social distancing such as walking, hiking and biking. This includes golf courses if restrictions on food and beverage service under Executive Order 2020-09 are followed.”
All four golf courses in the region — The Refuge, Lake Havasu Golf Club, Bridgewater Links and Emerald Canyon — remain open as of Thursday afternoon.
The Refuge has seen an increase in golfers recently. Refuge Pro Shop Manager and Tournament Coordinator Tyler Fallis said that cleaning has also increased on the course, with hourly sanitations of golf carts and equipment.
In Parker, Emerald Canyon Golf Course has also ramped up their cleaning routines with more frequent sanitation. They’ve experienced slower than usual traffic on the course recently, a representative said, due to group and event cancellations.
At Bridgewater Links, there hasn’t been an increase or dramatic decrease in golfers, as the course is typically slower this time of year anyways, London Bridge Resort employee Janet Allen said Thursday.
Lake Havasu Golf Club also has seen fewer players than normal, with Canadian golfers gone and regulars “afraid to play,” Pro Shop employee Allison Jenkins said Thursday. To assist with social distancing, only one customer is allowed in the pro shop at a time.