PORTSMOUTH — The Elks Country Club in McDermott and Little Scioto Golf Course in Wheelersburg remain open as getaway spots for citizens of Scioto County and southern Ohio during the coronavirus pandemic.
While many small businesses have been forced to close to the public in adherence with federal social distancing guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), golf courses remain one of the few outside recreational businesses open to the public for Ohioans who may feel cooped up in their homes.
Both the Elks Country Club and Little Scioto Golf Course announced last week on their respective Facebook pages that after somewhat of a back-and-forth between the golf business community and the Ohio state government, courses were to indeed remain open — as long as they adhere to the state and federal guidelines regarding social distancing.
“We originally closed thinking golf business was a non-essential business,” Elks course pro Tyson Phillips stated on Friday. “We found out due to the Stay-at-Home order 5-C For Outdoor Activity, to engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals abide by the social distancing requirements, we could open.”
For both of Scioto County’s two golf courses to remain open, one change that needed to be made would be that each course would become walking-only, prohibiting cart use for as long as the social distancing guidelines remain in place.
At the Elks, the clubhouse remains closed as golfers are asked to pay for their golf through a window.
Little Scioto opens each morning at 7 a.m. while the Elks opens for public play each day at 9 a.m.
The price to walk 18 holes at the Elks, Scioto County’s lone 18-hole course, is $15.
Food sales at the Elks are not permitted, but beverages and snacks are still being sold to patrons at their disposal.
“This is not the way we want to do business, but there are a lot of positives to take away from these social distancing guidelines,” Phillips said. “Number one is to make sure all employees, members and guests stay safe and healthy. Walking a golf course is good for your health, good for the course’s health.”
Phillips also stated that all league play and special outings at the Elks have been postponed until Ohio’s ‘Stay-at-Home’ order and the federal social distancing guidelines have been lifted.
“Hopefully our members can come out and enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air and get some exercise,” Phillips said. “The great advantage of having a membership is you can come out and walk one hole or walk all day. Some members have already just brought out a couple clubs and enjoyed walking a few random holes to get some great exercise in.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved