Golf course

The City of Bloomington is exploring the possibility of selling the three public golf courses: The Den at Fox Creek, Prairie Vista and Highland Park to private firms to make up the gap left in the current budget. 

The Illinois stay-at-home order is still in full effect leaving all residents with strict guidelines to follow for the safety of all but the hope for a reopening may have started with Illinois’ golf courses. Illinois golf courses reopened on May 1 along with other restrictions for golfers to follow. During the COVID-19 pandemic all we have heard is the safety of others comes first and that will still hold true on the greens. 

With 15-minute wait times being issued, no more than two to a group, and the inability to remove the pin from the hole have been the most notable rule adjustments set during these unprecedented times. 

Local courses such as Weibring and Ironwood have been following the governor's plan of action to ensure safety for both players and workers. 

“We have been and will continue to follow the rules that were set from the governor's office. The biggest being the 15-minute wait period in between golfers. When it is nice out you will see more come out to get fresh air, it certainly isn't ideal, but it is a chance to get people out of their homes,” said Weibring golf professional Tom Szymoniak 

 Ironwood course manager Craig Onsrud had similar comments about reopening during the pandemic. 

“It is hard and will continue to be while we have to wait 15 minutes in between teeing off. Although, customers are just happy to be golfing again,” said Onsrud. 

Overlooking the Den, Prairie Vista and Highland, Director of Bloomington Golf Jason Wingate had some positive messages to get across during this time.  

“While the weather is nice, we are busy. It will only get busier as the season goes on and we look forward to it. The golfers have been great to work with as we ensure their safety along with ours.” 

As golf brings back old memories of normality, there is nothing quite like family and friend rivalries on the course, an ice-cold beer, and a stogie to get us through the back nine of quarantine. 

MATT PETROVITCH is a Sports Reporter for The Vidette. He can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter at @matt_petrovitch 

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