Letter to Governor Pritzker Regarding Golfing

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May 19, 2020
The Honorable J.B. Pritzker
Governor
State of Illinois
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Washington
Chicago, IL 60601

Dear Governor Pritzker,

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an extraordinary burden on our communities. Although I support your decisive action to protect the health and well-being of all Illinoisans, I believe that there are common-sense solutions that can be put in place to benefit our communities. Specifically, hundreds of my constituents are requesting to reconsider the restrictions placed on golf courses. Some of the golf-related policies established by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) are the most restrictive in the country making it impractical for many courses to open their doors.

As we strive to carefully phase in sectors of our state’s economy, I respectfully ask, on behalf of my constituents, that the current policies be modified immediately to more closely reflect similar measures implemented by many other states in our region. Doing so will further encourage the adoption of enhanced health and sanitation protocols, such as those established by the golf industry’s Back2Golf guidelines, that were designed for the benefit of all who play, maintain and administer the game of golf.

Precisely, my constituents ask that:
● Groups shall be made up of no more than four (4) players.
● Tee times shall be set by the facility and spaced to avoid clustering of groups on the golf course. This is a course-specific parameter.
● Properly sanitized motorized carts may be used by a single rider. Two players may ride in the same cart only if they are members of the same family or household.
● Practice ranges and practice areas may be open and private golf instruction can occur on an individual basis. All practicing and instruction must be set up for social distancing, removing all common touch points while also employing sanitation procedures and protocol.
● Restaurants and halfway houses may be open for off-premises takeout and/or “to-go” orders that may be consumed on-or-off-course. (all tables and chairs removed or flipped upside down to
prohibit use; all possible congregation areas eliminated)

By adopting common-sense policies such as those listed above, the state of Illinois will more closely align with all other states in the bipartisan Midwest Coalition of Governors (Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) who have already implemented similar protocols. Social distancing is easy to do on a golf course and by adopting these recommendations, more people will be able to fully enjoy the game in a responsible manner during this time.

As Illinois prepares to move to Phase 3, I ask that you encourage the DCEO to make these sensible modifications to their restrictions on golf immediately so the hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents who play the game or work in the industry — including hundreds of my constituents — can enjoy this healthy outdoor activity.

Respectfully,
Rep. Mary Edly-Allen
51st District of Illinois