A change in plans: Illinois golf courses are closed again

The opening of Chicago area golf courses was short-lived.

Many, under the impression that Gov. J.B. Pritzker had given his approval, opened on Wednesday in an announcement made by a group named the Allied Golf Association. Its members encompassed the Illinois Section of the Professional Golfers Association, the Chicago District Golf Association and Midwest Association of Golf Course Superintendents and the Greater Chicago Chapter of the Club Management Association of America.

That announcement was made after Governor’s Executive Order 2020-10 was issued to Illinois golf facilities on Tuesday night.

“That interpretation was correct and actionable at the time it was communicated. However, that interpretation has been overturned, ‘’ the Allied Golf Association announced Thursday. No further explanation was available.

According to Thursday’s announcement maintenance will be permitted on the courses, and clubs can provided carry-out food service – but no golf.

The Illinois Municipal League and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity gave this explanation in a joint statement:

“No recreational sports businesses, including golf courses, are considered essential businesses under the executive order.’’

Golf’s ruling bodies across the country have been in disagreement as to whether players should be allowed on the course during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a survey conducted by the Golf Course Superintendents of America and published in GolfWorld magazine only six states – Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennylvania and Wisconsin – had banned golf prior to Thursday’s Illinois announcement. California and New York were listed as pending.