Return to golf, greenhouses, grooming 'feels so good'

  • Greg Cornwell, right, and Dave Clark, both of Naperville, approach the 9th green at Springbrook Golf Course, which reopened Friday in Naperville, allowing golfers in twosomes with tee times 15 minutes apart.

      Greg Cornwell, right, and Dave Clark, both of Naperville, approach the 9th green at Springbrook Golf Course, which reopened Friday in Naperville, allowing golfers in twosomes with tee times 15 minutes apart. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Chris Danca, owner of the Original Dog Barber in Arlington Heights, trims the fur on a Yorkie Friday. Pet groomers can now open due to a statewide easing of COVID-19 restrictions on certain businesses.

      Chris Danca, owner of the Original Dog Barber in Arlington Heights, trims the fur on a Yorkie Friday. Pet groomers can now open due to a statewide easing of COVID-19 restrictions on certain businesses. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Debbie Fuller of Aurora and her mother, Judy Kemmann of Lombard, shop Friday at Platt Hill Nursery in Bloomingdale. Greenhouses, garden centers, golf courses and pet groomers were among businesses able to reopen Friday with face covering and social distancing requirements.

      Debbie Fuller of Aurora and her mother, Judy Kemmann of Lombard, shop Friday at Platt Hill Nursery in Bloomingdale. Greenhouses, garden centers, golf courses and pet groomers were among businesses able to reopen Friday with face covering and social distancing requirements. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Dave Lemaistre, right, and Jim Cannan, both of Naperville, take practice swings Friday at Springbrook Golf Course in Naperville.

      Dave Lemaistre, right, and Jim Cannan, both of Naperville, take practice swings Friday at Springbrook Golf Course in Naperville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Groomer Erica Blankenship comforts a nervous cockapoo Friday as she trims its fur at the Original Dog Barber in Arlington Heights.

      Groomer Erica Blankenship comforts a nervous cockapoo Friday as she trims its fur at the Original Dog Barber in Arlington Heights. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Platt Hill Nursery in Bloomingdale is trying to keep customers socially distanced by limiting the number of people in each aisle and making lanes one way.

      Platt Hill Nursery in Bloomingdale is trying to keep customers socially distanced by limiting the number of people in each aisle and making lanes one way. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 5/1/2020 5:14 PM

We took a small step toward a return to the new normal Friday when golf courses, greenhouses and even pet groomers were allowed to reopen a month after Gov. J.B. Pritzker's first stay-at-home order to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

Customers flocked to the businesses, albeit with face coverings and social distancing requirements.

 

At Springbrook Golf Course in Naperville, players were required to wear masks and play in twosomes with tee times 15 minutes apart.

"It feels so good to be outside and to be with friends," golfer Greg Cornwell said.

Golfer Dave Clark called his round at Springbrook "the best five-mile walk that I have had in a long time."

Lawn and garden fans at Platt Hill Nursery in Bloomingdale were similarly excited, or "stoked," as Tina Blazer of Lombard put it. "Thrilled to be here and out among people," she said.

Debbie Fuller took her mom, Judy Kemmann of Lombard, shopping for plants as a break from seven weeks with her own children, which she said "has been obnoxious."

"I've been waiting seven weeks for us to go out and buy some plants and be happy," Debbie Fuller said. "To be in my yard and plant some flowers will be amazing."

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Owner Chris Danca of the Original Dog Barber in Arlington Heights had a backlog of appointments when he reopened Friday.

"We're already booked next week and I have 30 messages when I'm done today, and the phones are ringing nonstop, so it's going to take a month or two -- if not longer -- to catch up," he said.

Danca reopened his shop with two groomers, not as many as usual. He said he expected to see between 25 and 40 dogs during the first day back on the job, meeting each animal outside at its owner's car and returning the pet to the car with grooming complete.

"I think it's something maybe we could have done from the beginning without stoppage," Danca said. "We're not that dissimilar from a vet. Hair requires tending just like the medical needs of a dog, to a degree. We could have observed the protocol."

• Daily Herald staff photographers Brian Hill, Rick West and Joe Lewnard contributed to this report.

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