Golf is slowly returning to some of the 120-plus golf courses in the great Palm Springs area.
The Riverside County Health Dept. modified its March shelter-in-place order on April 20. It covers unincorporated areas of the county and allows golf operations to start again. The order allows golf play with carts limited to one player unless the people riding in it live together. It also keeps all interior facilities closed and limits food service to to-go items. All players must wear masks.
The incorporated cities in the Coachella Valley all have emergency orders in place that need to be modified to line up with the latest health department order. La Quinta, home to PGA West with its five courses as well as the city’s own Silver Rock Resort, has modified its order to allow its facilities to re-open in accordance with the county’s restrictions.
The Silver Rock course, designed by Arnold Palmer, will re-open on April 23 with play limited to La Quinta residents. Non-resident play is not permitted at this time.
PGA West in La Quinta will re-open April 22. It includes private courses as well as the public Mountain, Dunes, Nicklaus Tournament course, Greg Norman course and the Pete Dye championship course. Flag stick will be on all greens with either the cup raised 1-inch above the cup, or an insert placed in the cup to prevent the ball from dropping. Rakes will be removed from sand traps and players may move their ball out of foot marks or other un-natural spots and place it elsewhere in the bunker.
The Indian Wells Resort will re-open its two courses on Friday. Tee times will be restricted from opening to 2 p.m. and anyone is welcomed to play.
The cities of Palm Springs and Palm Desert have not yet modified the emergency orders so courses there remain closed as of April 21. The Palm Springs City Council will discuss potential modifications at its meeting on April 23.
Early tee times will be at a premium because high temperatures are predicted in the mid-90s all week.
Relaxing the golf and tennis bans will not help the hospitality business. The order that shuttered hotels, timeshares and other rentals of less than 60 days doesn’t expire until June 19 unless the cities and counties decide to remove it sooner.