With so many people looking for something to do but do safely during the coronavirus outbreak, local golf courses are taking extra precautions to provide an outlet for residents.
Like Lakewinds, StillWaters is a public golf course in Tallapoosa County and although it’s had to reduce its staff during the pandemic, it is still doing everything it can to remain open. But of course, that comes with some changes.
“There are lot of great recommendations from all the major golf industry leaders and I think it’s actually a very safe thing to be doing even with all that’s going on,” StillWaters golf pro Rob Witherington said. “We’re doing all that we can to make it a safe experience for everybody. Staying open is a challenge because you don’t want to be part of the problem.”
While StillWaters has always put an emphasis on maintaining clean golf carts, Witherington said he’s taken that as a step further by doing extra training with his outside service staff to ensure all carts are not just cleaned properly but also completely sanitized.
“Normally we’re just trying to knock off all the dirt or mud that’s been tracked in,” Witherington said. “Now you have to think about where the golfers are touching and that has to get special attention. Everything from the steering wheel to cup holders and bag clips and the holding bars, we’re doing special training to target those areas.”
Even the smallest detail has been taken care of by Witherington and his staff, who are putting a brand new pencil in each cart for every golfer.
On the course, StillWaters has removed its water coolers and ball washers and is asking people to leave the flag sticks in the holes while putting.
“As far as operations, we are allowing people to phone in with their cards to pay because some people don’t feel like walking in the golf shop,” Witherington said. “For the social distancing, we are allowing people each to have their own cart. If they are riding with their wife or their buddy and they want to do that, that’s great, but if they prefer, they don’t have to be sitting next to someone.”
Although there has been some changes to the business, Witherington said things are still alive and well at StillWaters and he’s even seen an influx of traffic from people like out-of-towners who are returning to their Lake Martin homes early and college students.
“It’s an interesting time, but we really want to keep the golf courses open because it is a positive experience and a good thing for people,” Witherington said.