Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
Golf courses, which had been experiencing an uptick in business recently, are expecting to take a big hit and downturn in play with New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
At least four golf courses were open on Tuesday, a day after Lujan Grisham issued the order.
Ladera, Los Altos and Arroyo del Oso golf courses were set to close, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller announced Tuesday morning. The city later issued a statement that the plan was to close courses by the middle of the afternoon. State police arrived at one municipal course and was assured it was closing, according to the statement.
Sandia Golf Club was open on Tuesday. An employee who answered the phone at Sandia said they won’t comment to the media and referred all questions to pueblo administration.
Sandia Pueblo is sovereign and not subject to state orders, Nora Sackett, Lujan Grisham’s press secretary, said in an email.
“The order as it is written is not applicable to public or government institutions,” Sackett said in the email, referring to the municipal courses. “Obviously, nonetheless, all of them are strongly urged to minimize person-to-person contact in order to protect public health.”
Paradise Hills, Santa Ana, Twin Warriors and Paa-Ko Ridge golf courses will remain closed following Lujan Grisham’s order, which is similar to the shelter-in-place order in effect in California.
Employees at the golf courses are hoping the order wil be lifted April 10 as stated and they can go back to work on April 11, along with golfers hitting the links.
“Golf courses were doing really well this spring,” said Dana Lehner, executive director of the PGA Sun Country Section and the Sun Country Amateur Golf Association. “Everything we heard was everything was up over last year. It’s going to cripple us, depending on how long it lasts. Selfishly I’m talking about golf, but all industries can say that. Every day it’s going to be a little more tough.”
Golf professionals and teaching assistants at the city golf courses will not be paid during the closures, Los Altos pro Colby Reddoch said.
Groundskeepers and others who work on the course will remain on the job as they are deemed essential in their maintenance of the courses.
Before COVID-19 entered into the U.S. and made its way to New Mexico, the state’s golf courses had been seeing improvement in business in comparison to the past two years, local pros said.
And more people made their way to the golf courses when social distancing was encouraged earlier this month, because the sport allows golfers to remain apart from others hole to hole.
However, after 18 new cases were confirmed on Monday and with at least 100 people in New Mexico infected by the coronavirus by Tuesday, Lujan Grisham delivered a blunt message to state residents: Stay home and only go out when absolutely necessary.
TENNIS: The courts in the city parks remain open, even as the city is urging people to comply with the governor’s stay-at-home and social distancing instructions. Signs will be posted at each park reminding the public of Covid-19 rules and guidelines. The playgrounds at the parks are closed.