When it was announced by six Bay Area counties that golf courses could reopen on Monday May 4, there was a lot of celebrating by golfers that had been shut off of golf for over six weeks due to restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite given the okay to open, some courses were not ready to meet the established guidelines from their respective counties. Others were ready to go and on May 4, they welcomed golfers back.

Spring Valley in Milpitas (Santa Clara County) was one such course.

After getting the go ahead at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 3, Spring Valley was able to send golfers out at 7:30 a.m. the next day.

“We had 20 hours to put everything in place,” said Dana Jetter, one of the partners of Jetter Golf, the operators of Spring Valley, as well as the Pleasanton Golf Center. “We were thorough and diligent (during the closure) so we were ready to go.”

Santa Clara County owns both Spring Valley and the Santa Teresa Golf Club. Jetter Golf has a long-term operator contract for Spring Valley, with Mike Rawitser having the operators contract with Santa Teresa.

Working as a group helped the golf courses be in full compliance with the county, thus allowing for the ability to be open on the first day restrictions were lifted.

“We all worked together to put the policies in place,” said Jetter. “It was a collaborative effort and out of it came a real solid document. We all are taking everything very seriously.”

From there, the Jetter’s talked with their employees, wanting to make them feel as safe as possible.

“We went even further to make out employees comfortable,” said Jetter.

While the three groups were working together on policies, the maintenance team at Spring Valley kept working on the golf course. Over six weeks with no play left the course in immaculate condition.

Once the green light was given and the policies were in place, the golfers came rushing back.

“The coolest thing is how happy the customers have been to come back,” said Jetter. “Every one of them is so appreciative of the efforts that are being made.”

Here the basic restrictions/changes in place at both Spring Valley and Santa Teresa.

Social distancing must be maintained throughout the golf experience by all persons who are not members of the same household.

This includes but is not limited to:

*Per State order, play is, “singles, with carts” (you must arrive in separate carts and maintain social distance throughout play including one cart per person).

*Signage and distance marking will be provided in buildings to maintain social distance requirements

*No more than two customers in a building at one time

*Practice putting and chipping greens are available for warm up only, limited to four players at a time, at least 6 feet apart

*Continuous putting is required (once you putt, continue putting until you hole out) recommended one player on the tee box and putting green at a time, at least 6 feet apart

*Driving range stalls will meet minimum social distancing requirements, rubber-tees will be removed

*Players must exit the property immediately after completing play, no gatherings allowed

*Loitering in parking lot or on the property is prohibited

*Restaurants will be closed with a limited (to-go) food and beverage menu

*Restrooms will be limited to use by one person at a time, signs will be posted reminding players to wash their hands

Spring Valley is open to all, as opposed to places where the courses are limited to only those that reside in the respective counties, or those who are restricted to those living within the city limits.

That is thanks once again to work that was done during the closure.

“The compliance issues were so thorough,” said Jetter. “If you did not have something like that it place, it would be tough (to re-open). We are out there complying with all standards.”

Jetter also pointed out that the Pleasanton Golf Center – which is also opened – worked with Alameda County to make sure everything was set to go.

For more information or to book tee times with Spring Valley, please go to www.springvalleygolfcourse.com.

By Dennis Miller