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Minneapolis St. Paul News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | Minneapolis, Minnesota | kare11.com

MN golf courses open under new executive order

"A lot of golfers are joking, 'I'm nowhere near anybody on the golf course generally anyway, so six feet is not going to be a problem.'"

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — The executive order issued by Governor Tim Walz Friday allows for a number of outdoor activities, including the opening of public and private golf courses. 

The executive order requires golfers, and anyone else outdoors, to maintain social distancing guidelines.

Brookview Golf Course in Golden Valley implemented a number of changes to keep golfers and employees safe. Tee times at Brookview are now 20 minutes apart instead of ten, giving golfers more space. 

"A lot of golfers are joking, 'I'm nowhere near anybody on the golf course generally anyway, so six feet is not going to be a problem'," said Golf Operations Manager, Ben Disch. 

Disch says they've added more space between golfers at their driving range, too. People used to be spaced five to six feet apart, now they have ten feet in between. 

Rentals at Brookview are also on hold, including golf carts, which means golfers need to walk the course. 

Golfers also aren't allowed to touch flags on the course. The golf cup holes have been flipped upside down, creating a shallow dip where the hole used to be. Disch says this is to prevent people from reaching down into the hole to retrieve their ball. 

Credit: KARE
Holes at Brookview Golf Course have been flipped upside down to prevent golfers from reaching in to the cup to retrieve their golf balls.

Disch says 90-percent of Saturday's tee times were booked within a two-hour span Friday after the Governor announced his order. 

"I've been waiting for it ever since the snow left," said golfer Jake Willson. "Being able to get out here and get out of the house a little bit is what we've been looking for."

The order also allows for marinas to open, so people can access their boats and get out on the water. 

"They can have access to their boats, as normal. No congregating though, and typically we don't have that anyway," said David Smith, Sales & Business Manager at River Valley Power & Sport on Lake Minnetonka.

RELATED: Walz allows some outdoor recreation businesses to reopen

RELATED: Golfers petition Minnesota governor to open courses

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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There is also a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.