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SLO County golf course remains open despite social distancing concerns

Blake DeVine/KEYT
The Monarch Dunes Golf Club in Nipomo has remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

NIPOMO, Calif. — San Luis Obispo County is threatening to close golf courses if social distancing orders are not observed.

However, this warning doesn’t seem to stop people from hitting the links at Monarch Dunes Golf Club in Nipomo.

“We’re starting to notice people wanting to get out when they feel safe,” Monarch Dunes director of instruction Rory Doll said. “They want to come out and enjoy playing golf and getting exercise in.”

“For me in general, it’s just to keep sane,” Nipomo resident John Amburgey said. “I mean you have to do something and out here on the golf course, they keep it pretty separated.”

Monarch Dunes general manager Minas Kaloosian understands that there may be concerns from the public. Yet, he remains confident that golfers are keeping a safe distance apart. 

“You’re having maybe two people per a couple of acres within each other,” Kaloosian said. “The only time that they’re in the general vicinity of one another is at the line to check-in.”

“We’re just keeping people safely spaced apart,” Doll said. “Making sure that they come here and that they don’t feel like they’re compromising their health.”

Throughout the day, each golf ball is carefully cleaned with a sanitizing solution. That same deep cleaning process is applied to all of the golf carts.

As a means of necessary precaution, the course has also raised all cups to prevent the ball from falling in the hole.

“Once the ball hits the cup itself, it’s considered a hole,” Kaloosian said. “There’s never a point where somebody has to reach down and touch the cup.”

“We’ve really removed everything from the golf course that you would have to touch,” Doll added.

Even with these unique changes, golfers remain satisfied with their experience. 

“You don’t touch anything really,” Amburgey said. “You’re just in your own cart and everybody just keeps their distance.”

The ability to continue golfing has allowed many of these people to put their minds at ease during an otherwise uncertain time. 

“This is a way for people to safely go out, get fresh air, ease some of the stress that they might be dealing with and have some resemblance of normalcy throughout the day,” Kaloosian concluded.

California / Community / Economy / Health / Home / San Luis Obispo County / Sports

Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist at KEYT NewsChannel 3, KCOY NewsChannel 12 and KKFX My Fox 11