On second thought, Illinois' golf courses are closed

  • Two golfers watch another hit off the tee at Forest Park Golf Course, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. Even as the pandemic has shuttered restaurants, bars and beaches, many golf courses around the country have managed to stay open with all sorts of precautions in place to promote social distancing. Illinois reversed its decision Thursday and is no longer allowing golfing at local courses.

    Two golfers watch another hit off the tee at Forest Park Golf Course, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. Even as the pandemic has shuttered restaurants, bars and beaches, many golf courses around the country have managed to stay open with all sorts of precautions in place to promote social distancing. Illinois reversed its decision Thursday and is no longer allowing golfing at local courses. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

 
 
Updated 3/27/2020 2:52 PM

The opening of Chicago area golf courses was short-lived.

Many, under the impression that Gov. J.B. Pritzker had given his approval, opened on Wednesday in an announcement made by a group named the Allied Golf Association. Its members encompassed the Illinois Section of the Professional Golfers Association, the Chicago District Golf Association and Midwest Association of Golf Course Superintendents and the Greater Chicago Chapter of the Club Management Association of America.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

That announcement was made after Governor's Executive Order 2020-10 was issued to Illinois golf facilities on Tuesday night.

"That interpretation was correct and actionable at the time it was communicated. However, that interpretation has been overturned," the Allied Golf Association announced Thursday. No further explanation was available.

According to Thursday's announcement maintenance will be permitted on the courses, and clubs can provided carryout food service -- but no golf.

The Illinois Municipal League and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity gave this explanation in a joint statement:

"No recreational sports businesses, including golf courses, are considered essential businesses under the executive order."

Golf's ruling bodies across the country have been in disagreement as to whether players should be allowed on the course during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a survey conducted by the Golf Course Superintendents of America and published in GolfWorld magazine only six states -- Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- had banned golf before Thursday's Illinois announcement. California and New York were listed as pending.

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