Golf courses still open as community hunkers down

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Thus far, Wilson County’s three golf courses have experienced a minimum effect from the coronavirus threat and its resulting restrictions and shutdowns.

Through Tuesday, golfing activities proceeded about as usual at Willow Springs Country Club, Wilson Country Club and Wedgewood Public Golf Course.

But as Willow Springs owner/professional Jimmy Gurkin, WCC General Manager Reid Hill and Wilson Parks and Recreation Director David Lee (the city operates Wedgewood) cautioned, it all could change at any time.

Gurkin described Saturday’s turnout at Willow Springs as great, and said Monday was “pretty good.” Sunday, he assessed, was slow because of damp, cold conditions.

At WCC, Hill reported: “We were busy as could be Saturday, but the weatherman got us Sunday (forecast for rain but no rain).”

At Wedgewood, noted Lee, 155 rounds were played Saturday.

“Everybody has been out there,” Gurkin commented, “and nobody talks about it. They just keep on going. So far, it hasn’t affected anything.”

“It’s a fluid situation — as is everything,” Hill said. “We are thinking we might get more business. There is not a whole lot else to do and it seems outdoors is the best place to be.”

Wedgewood is the lone city agency that has not been closed indefinitely.

“We felt like people need to get outside,” Lee reasoned. “We’re monitoring the situation and feel OK with it.”

Precautions are prevalent.

Lee contends physical contact should not be an issue at a golf course. But pro Brady Pinner and staff members are wearing gloves in dealing with the exchange of money. Lysol and disinfectant are being applied and golf carts are being wiped down before going onto the course and upon coming off the course.

Lee pointed out the rental area has been shut down and big gatherings will be prohibited.

At Willow Springs, Lysol and wipes are available in the pro shop. The snack bar will not be open and no dining-room functions will be booked.

The restaurant at WCC was open until a state ruling announced by Gov. Roy Cooper was enforced Tuesday. All functions not member-centered have been postponed or canceled.

“We have done everything as far as safety,” Hill declared.

But neither Lee, Hill nor Gurkin consider the respective day-to-day situation stable.

“We’ll wait and see,” Hill said.

“Everything is the same,” Lee added. “It may change from day to day. I hope not.”

But as Gurkin remarked: “Until somebody forces us to shut down, we’re open.”