Here's a state-by-state breakdown of where golf's allowed and where it isn't

Mike Stachura
Golf Digest

State-wide stay-home executive orders in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic might have you confused about whether golf is or isn’t allowed where you live or even near where you live. Enter the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America with a state-by-state list of where it’s still OK to play.

The GCSAA has been monitoring the shifting directives from states on whether golf courses should be characterized as non-essential businesses or as an acceptable outdoor activity with proper social distancing. Officials and state golf associations have even had to check whether courses can be maintained when there is a public ban on golf. It’s not an insignificant part of the issue, especially for many courses right at the start of the growing season. A GCSAA letter being sent to state leaders across the country calls out specifically the challenges with leaving a closed golf course without regular maintenance.

“Spring is a critical time for turfgrass,” the letter reads. “If turfgrass is lost, many courses may face permanent closure. Turfgrass cannot be neglected for extended periods of time.” The letter also cites that the decline of course maintenance could lead to vandalism and “the landscape and property of a golf course could become compromised, damaged or unsafe.” The letter indicates that proper maintenance also reduces the threat of “disease carrying pests, including ticks and mosquitoes.”

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Currently, the language in most executive orders from state governors’ offices is rarely specific to golf, and only after direct contact have states often clarified the situation. So far eight states have specifically banned golf being played (Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin), although the situation is ever-changing. In some cases, courses, clubs or resorts have opted to pause operations even if their states haven’t mandated it. As David Phipps, the GCSAA’s Northwest field staff representative, put it, “It’s been a rollercoaster ride the last few days trying to keep track of all these executive orders across my region.”

Here’s the GCSAA’s current state-by-state assessment (Just a reminder that this listing is very fluid and is in no way a legally binding document. It's best to check with your local and state authorities on the most current situation, and your local course specifically, as county or city rules may supersede any state order) :

ALABAMA
Governor Directive: Is golf open for play?: Yes
Governor Directive: Is golf course maintenance allowed?: Yes

ALASKA
Season has not started

ARIZONA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

ARKANSAS
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

CALIFORNIA
Golf open for play?: Yes (Counties may restrict play)
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

COLORADO
Golf open for play?: No
Course maintenance allowed?: Pending

CONNECTICUT
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

DELAWARE
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

FLORIDA
Golf open for play?: Yes (Miami-Dade and Broward counties preventing play)
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

GEORGIA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

HAWAII
Golf open for play?: Pending (Oahu / Maui shelter in place)
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

IDAHO
Golf open for play?: Pending
Course maintenance allowed?: Pending

ILLINOIS
Golf open for play?: Yes (Counties may restrict play)
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

INDIANA
Golf open for play?: Yes (Howard County bans play)
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

IOWA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

KANSAS
Golf open for play?: Yes (some cities preventing play)
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

KENTUCKY
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

LOUISIANA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

MAINE
Golf open for play?: Pending
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

MARYLAND
Golf open for play?: No
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

MASSACHUSETTS
Golf open for play?: No
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes (town boards may restrict maintenance)

MICHIGAN
Golf open for play?: Pending
Course maintenance allowed?: Pending

MINNESOTA
Golf open for play?: No
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

MISSISSIPPI
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

MISSOURI
Golf open for play?: Pending
Course maintenance allowed?: Pending

MONTANA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

NEBRASKA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

NEVADA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

NEW JERSEY
Golf open for play?: No
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

NEW MEXICO
Golf open for play?: No
Course maintenance allowed?: Pending

NEW YORK
Golf open for play?: Pending
Course maintenance allowed?: Pending

NORTH CAROLINA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

NORTH DAKOTA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

OHIO
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

OKLAHOMA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

OREGON
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

PENNSYLVANIA
Golf open for play?: No
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

RHODE ISLAND
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

SOUTH CAROLINA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

SOUTH DAKOTA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

TENNESSEE
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

TEXAS
Golf open for play?: Yes (counties may restrict play)
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

UTAH
Golf open for play?: Yes (cities may restrict play)
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

VERMONT
Golf open for play?: Pending
Course maintenance allowed?: Pending

VIRGINIA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

WASHINGTON
Golf open for play?: Pending
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

WEST VIRGINIA
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

WISCONSIN
Golf open for play?: No
Course maintenance alloWed?: Yes

WYOMING
Golf open for play?: Yes
Course maintenance allowed?: Yes

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Originally Appeared on Golf Digest

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