Evansville golf courses reopen with ground rules to promote social distancing

Evansville golf courses reopen with ground rules to promote social distancing

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The state of Indiana is beginning a gradual return to a sense of normalcy, and one phase of that began this weekend with the reopening of the city’s golf courses.

As part of the plan laid out by Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s task force, the city reopened its three golf courses.

Fendrich, Helfrich Hills and McDonald Golf Courses resumed operations on Saturday, and golfers wasted no time to hit the fairways.

This is the first time that golfers returned to the links in more than a month.

All three city courses opened up with some new ground rules to help promote social distancing.

“The Parks and Recreation Department, along with the Mayor’s Office, have gotten a lot of calls wanting to know when we’d reopen,” Brian Holtz, executive director of Evansville’s Department of Parks and Recreation said. “So it’s walking only, no carts. Keeping in mind social distancing - carry your own bags, no ball washers, no water coolers.”

“It’s eerily quiet with them not letting the golf carts out on the course,” avid golfer Ryan Streete said. “Kind of a throwback.”

Some golfers weren’t bothered with the extra exercise.

“I don’t mind walking,” Charles Farmer said. “I’m a walker, so if I’m not playing at Helfrich (Golf Course), I’m walking.”

And with the recent layoff from play, these golfers may have felt their games were not quite up to par, but that just didn’t matter.

“Basically, I’ve just been hitting birdie balls in my driveway to my backyard, just trying to go out and get some swings in,” Farmer said. “All the shots are not where they should be, but at least I’m out getting some exercise. I’m just glad they opened things up.”

“It’s just nice to get out and enjoy this beautiful day,” Streete said. “I think every tee time was full today.”

Tee times were spaced out 20 minutes apart from one another to help further social distancing. Each tee time can have up to four people per group.

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