HUDSON —Although state health officials have ruled that golfers can hit the links during the COVID-19 pandemic if they follow social distancing guidelines, the city-owned course has not re-opened yet.
Ellsworth Meadows Golf Club, 1101 Barlow Road, will not open "at this time," said city spokesperson Jody Roberts.
"The safety and health of our employees and the public are critical in our decision," noted Roberts.
Roberts added that areas of concern include the safe handling of financial transactions, ensuring social distancing, sanitizing carts and other equipment after each individual use, and keeping restrooms open.
"Safety is our utmost concern particularly as we head into the next few weeks that experts say will be the peak time for spreading the virus," stated Roberts. "We will continue to re-evaluate and will reopen the course when we feel we can safely do so.?"
Though the golf course is not open for play, visitors may use the cart paths as walking trails during the day from Monday through Friday, said Roberts.
″[Walkers] are urged to keep a 6-foot social distance and be considerate of others when passing people on the paths to not get too close," said Roberts.
Other area courses either open or looking to open soon
The golf course at the private Lake Forest Country Club, 100 Lake Forest Drive in Hudson, is open but operating under the distancing rules established by state and county public health officials, said Ernie Roma, the club’s chief operating officer.
"The rules are pretty tight," said Roma. "[They] make perfect sense to me."
At the members-only course, Roma said: tee times are spaced apart further than normal; only one person is allowed per cart; carts are cleaned by staff after each use; 6-foot distancing must be maintained between golfers; golfers are not allowed to arrive more than 15 minutes prior to their tee time, nor may they stay more than 15 minutes after completing their round; the clubhouse, driving range and practice green are closed; sand trap rakes and ball washers have been removed; and the liner of the holes are turned upside down so golfers don’t have to reach in the hole to retrieve their ball.
Roma said he is happy to be able to allow the club’s members and their guests to enjoy a round of golf at a time when so many other forms of entertainment and recreation are unavailable.
"We’re trying to give our members a little bit of an outlet," noted Roma.
Although the course is not offering food or beverage service, Roma said the club is providing curbside pick-up of food orders to its members from Thursday through Saturday. The club can be reached at 330-656-3800.
Messages left for officials at the Country Club of Hudson were not returned by press time.
In Cuyahoga Falls, Brookledge Golf Club, 1621 Bailey Road, was scheduled to open on Monday, April 13. At Brookledge, golfers must make a tee time in advance, according to a post on the club’s Facebook page. No walk-up play will be allowed. Brookledge can be reached at 330-971-8416.
The golf courses at Silver Lake Country Club, 1325 Graham Road, and Roses Run Country Club in Stow, 2636 N. River Road, are already open while operating under social distancing guidelines.
For the courses that are open, they are operating under the same or similar rules as the ones listed for Lake Forest Country Club. Silver Lake Country Club is requiring its golfers to maintain an 8-foot distance from one another.
Silver Lake Country Club, a private course, can be reached at 330-688-6066 and Roses Run Country Club, a public course, can be reached at 330-688-4653.
Two other public golf courses — Fox Den at 2770 Call Road in Stow and Gleneagles Golf Club at 2615 Glenwood Drive in Twinsburg — are not open yet. Officials with both Fox Den and Gleneagles said they hope to open soon.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, email@example.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.