After being temporarily closed to the public since March 23rd, the City of Thomasville has announced that Country Oaks Golf Course will reopen on Friday May 15th. New policies have been implemented in order to provide safety while allowing players to enjoy golfing at the course.
“Since the day we temporarily closed, Mike Owens and his staff at Country Oaks have worked at length to prepare for a reopening,” said Alan Carson, City Manager. “Some of the measures will include social distancing methods and other best-practices that are important for outdoor recreation facilities during this time,” said Carson. “The safe usage of Country Oaks will provide our community with an additional outlet for enjoyable outdoor exercise.”
According to Mike Owens, Manager for Parks, Recreation & Golf, he and his staff researched and spoke with various golf courses throughout the region while gathering guidelines from health entities. They used the information to develop and implement a plan of necessary precautions that would allow for a safe reopening. “The recommendations from the CDC (Centers of Disease Control), along with our research, has provided us with numerous measures that we are prepared to apply upon reopening our course,” he said. “The precautions we are implementing will not affect the overall golfing experience, however these steps are necessary for the health and safety of our guests.”
“We will continue to monitor the recommended health and safety guidelines that are provided to us by national and local health officials,” Owens said. “As the weeks and months pass, it is our desire to arrive at a point where some of the precautions that have been implemented can be relaxed.”
The precautionary measures that have been implemented include the following:
- Tee time reservations must be made electronically or by telephone.
- Golfers should arrive no earlier than 15 minutes prior to their scheduled tee time.
- Pro shop access will be limited to four people at a time.
- Transactions for golf fees and the pro shop will be cashless.
- High-touch areas such as restroom facilities and golf carts will have enhanced sanitizing procedures.
- Touching golf holes and flags will be restricted.
- Bunker rakes, water coolers and other high-touch materials will be removed from the course.
- The driving range will remain temporarily closed.
- The course will be open 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
In addition to time spent researching social distancing policies, City staff used the last month to address maintenance of course greens and tee boxes, which typically would require a temporary closure or adjustment to course routes for golfers. “We aerified the greens, tee boxes and fairways, verticut and top-dressed the greens, and were able to add 700 linear feet of cart path on holes 10 and 11,” said Owens. “Addressing these periodic needs, along with aggressive spraying to control weeds and fungus, will allow our golfers to return to a golf course that is in great condition and avoid the need for temporary closures once the course reopens.”
Along with an elevated focus on the fairways and greens, enhancements have been made to a number of facilities during the temporary closure. “Without the daily traffic of our golfers, we were able to address some maintenance needs in and around our pro shop,” said Owens. “Our golfers will notice improvements made to the interior of the pro shop, along with a facelift to the exterior that includes removal of a tree, fresh shrubs, pine straw and pressure washing.” Owens said that Public Works crews also contributed to the work that was performed at Country Oaks. “We are very appreciative of the assistance that Public Works provided to us.”
“Our golf family has been checking in with us regularly and we know they are anxious to get back out on the greens,” said Owens. “We are excited and prepared for the return of our golfers.”
Country Oaks Golf Course is a municipal golf course located at 6481 GA Highway 122. For more information or to reserve your tee-time, visit www.countryoaksgolfcourse.org or call 229-225-4333.