While some people might consider golf to be the ultimate social distancing sport, not everyone agrees.
Following Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's Monday, March 23, Executive Order No. 20-12, Lake Oswego Public Golf Course (17525 Stafford Road) announced that it would close immediately.
Course Manager Tom Mueller said Monday that Lake Oswego's 18-hole par-3 facility — owned by the city of Lake Oswego — would cease operation immediately and for the foreseeable future.
For its part, the city of Lake Oswego declared a local state of emergency Sunday afternoon, March 22, when City Manager Martha Bennett signed an emergency declaration. The declaration is effective immediately, but it is subject to ratification and extension by the Lake Oswego City Council, which will hold an electronic meeting Monday evening, March 23.
Based on that city declaration, many of Lake Oswego's public buildings are closed until at least April 28. The Lake Oswego Public Library, Adult Community Center and other prominent buildings were previously closed. Lake Oswego City Hall and other city buildings and facilities — including fire stations and the golf course — are now closed as well.
A section of Brown's order titled "Stay Home, Save Lives," allows individuals to go outside for recreational activities as long as they avoid physical contact and maintain appropriate physical contact. That portion reads "Individuals may go outside for outside recreational activities (walking, hiking, etc.), but must limit those activities to non-contact, and are prohibited from engaging in outdoor activities where it is not possible to maintain appropriate social distancing (six feet or more between individuals)."
While that language might allow golf courses to continue operation, Mueller said that the latest decisions by Lake Oswego and Brown led to the immediate closure of Lake Oswego Public Golf Course.
Prior to the latest statewide regulations, Mueller said that Lake Oswego Public Golf Course had taken many steps to protect its patrons, including: keeping the clubhouse doors open at all times of operation; limiting the number of people that could sit at a single table; separating chairs by appropriate distances; filling the cups on each of the course's 18 holes so players would not need to touch the flagsticks to retrieve their golf balls; using bleach solution to wash the flagsticks, the handles of its pullcarts, and the handles of the baskets used to hold balls for the driving range; and previously closing LV's 19th Hole Bistro.
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