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Sandestin keeping three of its four golf courses open

Sandestin has three of four courses up and running during pandemic
Sandestin has three of four courses up and running during pandemic(WJHG)
Published: Apr. 10, 2020 at 10:09 PM CDT
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Golf remains one of the few outdoor activities that is getting the blessing of government officials here in the midst of this pandemic.

That's good news for area courses, and certainly the biggest golf resort in our area, the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Sandestin's courses, for the most part, remain open to golfers, a decision that was not made lightly, says Rick Hileman, Sandestin's Director of Golf.

"Well it certainly wasn't. This is as you know, very uncharted waters for everybody. But we do have a very strong member base and we realized early on, in late March, that they were here and that they wanted to play golf. And so we did downsize the number of courses, we have four golf courses out here so we made the strategic decision, initially, to focus our efforts on three of the four golf courses. So we could pay closer attention to keeping our members and our guests healthy and safe."

Rick adds they are following all CDC guidelines as well as a list of guidelines put out by the PGA of America. That includes scrubbing the carts before and after every use, and one rider per cart. And on the course, they've turned the cups upside down, so no reason to touch the flag sticks. There's no raking the bunkers and no ball washers. They've closed down the seating area outside the sandwich shop, and a variety of other measures to stick to those guidelines.

"Knowing that golf is a good activity, it's a healthy activity." Hileman adds. "People at this time want to be outside. And social distancing, to a large extent, is built into the sport itself. Last week it got a little more difficult with the Governor's stay at home order. Again we looked at it and we said 'you know what, there's a demand here.' And I think with certain protocols in place, we can do it in a safe and healthy way. We can provide an outlet for our members and guests and so here we are, we still have three golf courses open. And we're just inviting people to come out and play as often as they can. Because it's really, the weather is phenomenal. And despite all this stuff that's going on it's a nice respite."

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