SALT LAKE CITY — Following the 5.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the Wasatch Front early Wednesday morning, five Salt Lake City area golf courses — Bonneville, Forest Dale, Nibley Park, Glendale and Rose Park — shut down, albeit temporarily.
As it turns out, those closures were only the beginning.
After reopening for a couple of days, the Salt Lake City Golf Division announced Friday that it will suspend play at all six city golf courses — the aforementioned five as well as Mountain Dell — effective Monday, with no reopening date set.
Several other courses around the state are also shutting down including Davis County courses, Davis Park and Valley View, which will also shut down starting Monday. Some privately-owned courses, such as Glenmoor in South Jordan, are remaining open, as is Eaglewood, which is run by the city of North Salt Lake.
“We’re going to pause for at least seven days to reevaluate the procedures we’ve already put in place to make sure it’s a safe environment for everyone,” said Davis Park head pro Brad Stone. “We felt like with things escalating like they are, we want to be part of the solution and then systematically reopen when we can.”
The impetus behind the latest closures is COVID-19, as businesses all over the country are shutting down. Golf was considered to be one of the safest activities, but several issues have become a concern, including workers at the golf courses getting exposed or exposing others and the handling of golf rakes and flagsticks.
“The health and safety of our customers, employees, and the general public are paramount,” Salt Lake City Golf Director Matt Kammeyer said in a statement. “We have had unprecedented crowds at our golf courses, which has made it difficult to keep our staff and the public safe from the community spread of COVID-19. We are asking for the public’s support as we examine how to shift our current practices to get the courses back open safely as soon as we can.”
Over the coming days, the Salt Lake Golf Division staff plans to reevaluate the customer interaction processes with the goal to provide more efficient and lower-risk methods to service golf patrons and allow access to these beneficial public spaces.
Several courses had shut down late last week including the six Salt Lake County courses as well as Provo’s East Bay course and Hubbard Golf Course at Hill Air Force Base.
At Glenmoor, there are no plans to shut down, but the course is taking precautions such as online payments and a “sneeze screen” between workers and patrons, according to assistant pro Weston Wheeler.
Several courses remain open this weekend, but may be shutting down next week, so golfers are encouraged to call before showing up to play.