Competitors from this weekend’s event keep their distance while warming up.

CRESWELL – There’s absolutely no truth to the rumor that one of golf’s new COVID-19 era rules is that all players, after an errant tee shot, must now yell “Six!” instead of “Fore!”

Even so, if it means being able to get out of the house and hit the links, golfers are more than happy to obey a few extra directives. 

“We’re fortunate to be working,” said Laine Wortman, general manager and head pro at Emerald Valley Golf & Resort. “We’re appreciative of the fact we can stay open while other businesses can’t.”

A stay-at-home order was issued March 23. Wortman said they closed the Front Nine Restaurant & Bar for 10 days, but the golf course could remain open – as long as it was compliant with COVID-19 regulations.

“We had to make some alterations; we took the rakes out, we don’t enforce raking,” Wortman said. “You can come play a round of golf and never interact with anybody and only touch the stuff you brought.”

As local golf courses navigate their way through these virus-mandated changes, Wortman says a day on the golf course now isn’t all that much different than it was a few months ago.

“For the guys who like to socialize and sit around and have a beer after their round, that’s gone,” Wortman said. 

Just a part of the new reality. Wortman said the club has lost 10-15 events this year and will likely lose 10-12 more. “That’s about one-third of our total revenue. That’s a big hit.”