Sports

A week ago Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell closed Oahu’s large gathering places, including municipal courses. On Sunday he issued an emergency order telling all non-essential workers to stay home. Read more

A week ago Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell closed Oahu’s large gathering places, including municipal courses. On Sunday he issued an emergency order telling all non-essential workers to stay home.

An updated message to Aloha Section PGA members Wednesday was highlighted by a bold-faced sentence imploring golf facilities to “abide by the spirit of the order and strongly urge players to remain at home as we, as individuals, are the first line of defense against the spread of the virus.”

Approximately 15 Oahu golf courses remain open (a list of neighbor island courses was not available), as of Wednesday.

The mayor’s order allows individuals to leave home “to engage in outdoor activities in locations as allowed by law,” provided they comply with social distancing requirements. In golf, 6 feet is an extended “gimme” distance.

The Aloha Section message said Caldwell allowed courses under private ownership to stay open. It emphasized they, again, follow the “spirit of the order” by offering golf to those who “need fresh air and exercise as an outlet for activity and not for social gatherings” and as a way to reduce anxiety.

Last week the section offered suggestions about things like expanding online services, leaving the flag in the hole, eliminating rental equipment, offering only takeout food orders and doing everything to eliminate more than one person handling anything.

Wednesday’s latest message also included direction beyond urging people to stay home, requiring social distancing and encouraging people to walk. Guidelines included restricting transportation by asking golfers not to drive to courses with anyone outside their household, and maximums of four to a group. Also, tee time intervals a minimum of 12 minutes between groups, no more than two groups per hole and no more than one group on the tee and green.

The update ended with a plea from ASPGA Executive Director Wes Wailehua:

“While I am thankful to the Mayor’s office for allowing golf to continue to be a healthy alternative and escape from social anxiety, I ask all of you to remind your members and players to think responsibly and remain at home unless activity is absolutely necessary. Your decision as operators to remain open in a sensible and healthy manner is important to the quick recovery for our island home.”

The Hawaii State Golf Association office is closed and employees are working from home and updating the website (hsga.golf). Its next scheduled event is the U.S. Senior Open qualifier May 18.

Tentatively, the next major Hawaii event is the 62nd Mid-Pacific Open, April 23-26. State high school championships are May 12-15 at Wailua and the 70th Jennie K. Wilson Invitational May 15-17.

Open Golf Courses on Oahu

As of Wednesday

>> Coral Creek

>> Ewa Beach

>> Hawaii Kai (Championship and Executive)

>> Hoakalei (guest play allowed with member)

>> Honolulu CC (guest play allowed with member)

>> Kapolei

>> Ko’olau

>> Mid-Pacific CC (members only)

>> Mililani

>> Royal Hawaiian

>> Turtle Bay Palmer and Fazio

>> Waialae CC (members only)

>> Waikele