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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

Questions, Answers and Insights for Everyone Interested in the Business of Golf

Tracking Government Orders and Golf Course Status
An overview of how executive orders affected golf operations amid the coronavirus outbreak

by National Golf Foundation

May 2020

When statewide stay-at-home orders rolled out the third week of March in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, golf course operations were affected nationwide.

At one point in mid-April, as many as 19 states had restrictions on golf, either at a statewide or local level. Golf has since been among the first businesses and activities to resume, given its safe outdoor nature conductive to social distancing. In states that had a ban, golf operations have been phased back in in different stages and with different protocols.

As the maps detail below, states in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions were among the first to enforce executive orders that required golf courses to temporarily suspend operations. With some states, such as Illinois, there was initial confusion — with golf allowed to be played very briefly after an initial shutdown, only to be restricted again days later.


Green • No state order but possibly some local restrictions Yellow • No state order but noteworthy local restrictions Red • State/local order in place Gray • Pending


After the final counties in California lifted their bans, clearing the way for golf to resume throughout the state on May 8, New Hampshire became the final state to allow its courses to reopen on May 11.

States such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Maryland had among the longest statewide restrictions, with all courses shut down for business for more than five weeks.

Some cities or counties still have limitations in place. Many public courses in New York City’s five boroughs remain closed down while Washington D.C. is projecting a May 30 opening for its city courses.

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