Golfing During the Pandemic Is Not Allowed in Pa., NJ. Some Golfers Aren't Listening

Golf courses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have been ordered closed during the pandemic. And even in Delaware, social distancing rules apply

Golfers on a course
Provided to NBC10

A warm Sunday proved to be a temptation too tough to resist for several golfers who hauled their clubs onto local greens yesterday, defying state orders that closed golf courses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's just inappropriate," said Tom Riesenberg, president of the Board of Governors for Coatesville Country Club.

Coatesville Country Club received complaints Sunday about people playing a round of golf on the property as temperatures hovered around the mid-60s. Riesenberg believes a mix of members and non-members have been illegally coming onto the 140-acre facility.

He is asking people to "please stay at home and honor the rules put forth by the governor."

The Coatesville Country Club is stepping up measures to keep people from walking onto its closed golf course. Monday morning, staff added additional placards and "No Golf Allowed" signs to holes 1, 2 and 13, which are most accessible from the street.

Additionally, staff blocked off parking lot entrances so golfers would get the message that teeing off will have to wait until the state allows the course to reopen.

Meanwhile, staff is working to maintain the grounds at Coatesville Country Club. Its food service is also open for pick up, to help workers stay employed.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey closed golf courses in March when the states declared a shutdown of all non-essential businesses.

In response, a coalition of golfing organizations petitioned Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to allow their courses to reopen.

The governors said no, and the golf industry associations have no plans on fighting those rulings.

"We're looking forward to the day we can reopen our courses," said Mark Peterson, executive director for the Golf Association of Philadelphia. "But for now, we all need to make sure we stay safe for ourselves, our family, and for the people who are maintaining the golf courses during this pandemic."

Delaware is the only state in our area where golf courses have remained open during the coronavirus pandemic, but with restrictions. Players must adhere to social distancing guidelines and follow safety precautions on the golf course.

And under a recent directive, anyone who enters Delaware from another state must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. So Delaware golf courses are only accepting residents of Delaware to play the courses.

When the time to reopen golf courses arrives in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, golf enthusiasts say they will be ready and plan to come out swinging.

Until then, Executive Director of the New Jersey State Golf Association Kevin Purcell says stay-at-home orders are clear: No golf in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. "It's the governor's order. Golf is not to be played," he said.


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