So many people have been holed up at home during these past few weeks that it was a welcome relief to golf enthusiasts to hear they could once again get back to the 18 holes found at a golf course. Soboba Springs Golf Course is among others in Riverside County that were given the green light to open their greens once again and reopened on April 25.
Jason Cozart, Soboba Casino Resort’s Assistant Manager, was quick to put things in motion to open the course for limited use as outlined by the Health Officer for the County of Riverside, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, and the County Executive Officer as Director of Emergency Services George Johnson. The conditions include golfers play in groups of no more than four persons with all participants adhering to social distancing practices. No caddies are permitted at this time.
Groundskeepers have been maintaining the course throughout its closure and all regular maintenance and upkeep has been ongoing. Cozart said he looks forward to seeing regulars and newcomers out on the golf course greens under blue skies during the upcoming sunny days.
The National Golf Course Owners Association has developed a “Park and Play: Making Your Course Social Distance Ready” program. For the purpose of this order, social distancing requires a six-foot separation from all persons except for household members and medical providers with the appropriate personal protection equipment.
“The Park and Play guidelines have been out for some time, even before the county order allowing courses to reopen,” Cozart said. “We have been preparing for implementation even prior to our closure. We are happy that the county has seen fit to allow us to operate, and we will make sure that our staff as well as our guests adhere to all safety guidelines.”
He said many of the sanitizing protocols were already in place and those practices will be continued. Some additional adjustments were made to be in full compliance with all aspects of the Park and Play program.
For the time being, no large gatherings can occur at any time before June 20, pending further Order of the Public Health Officer. This includes, but is not limited to, tournaments or fundraisers. The order also requires social distancing be practiced in all ancillary use areas of the golf course which includes parking areas, clubhouses, driving ranges and practice putting greens.
Face coverings must always be worn by those working at or playing on the golf course and in all ancillary use areas. Food and beverage services provided by or at the golf course may only operate on a delivery or pick-up basis with social distancing practices maintained at all times. No in-person dining shall be permitted.
“We would like to remind our guests to bring their own water to ensure they stay hydrated, especially as we move into warmer days,” Cozart said.
The decision to open golf courses on a limited basis came after the release of substantial guidance from the Health Officer, the California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health officials throughout the United States and around the world. It was made in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws.
Soboba Springs Golf Course has tee times available from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. seven days a week and its Pro Shop is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The shop will limit access in accordance with social distancing and will only accept credit/debit card transactions until further notice.
Tee times can be booked online at www.soboba.com/golf or by calling the Pro Shop directly at 951-654-4300.
Photos courtesy of Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians