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Golfers petition to classify sport as essential during COVID-19 stay at home order

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- A familiar sound is gone in Wisconsin. 

The thwack of the club has been replaced by silence across the state. 

Governor Tony Evers' Safer at Home order closed the courses despite many other states' staying open.

"We certainly support the Safer at Home order, and think it's important," said Rob Jansen, Executive Director of the Wisconsin State Golf Association. "But at the same time, we think golf can be played safely."

To stay safe, the courses are ready to make major changes. 

They've sent letters to the governor while an online petition has more than 35,000 signatures, and they're trying to get the sport classified as essential.

"I think now more than ever, people need to stay healthy, mentally and physically, and golf can be a part of that," Jansen said.

"It's just a good way to recreate," said Jeff Schwister, Executive Director of Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin. "Get out there. Talk to your friends. Just feel alive again, while still doing the rules that the governor said."

If a change is made to the Safer at Home order and golf becomes allowed, it would be up to the individual courses if they decide to open before April 24.

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Chevyss 62 days ago
It's obvious that people who show the negative side didn't bother to check the website for petitioning the governor to open golf courses. So I should get in my truck and drive to a state or county park and go for a walk? I live in a condo complex and their are no places for me to walk unless I want to get run over by all of the idiots racing to the stores to hoard all the butt-wipes! But I'm supposed to stay at home to be safe? By the way, I'm told from the local media to get out and support local restaurants. Contradicting? Golf courses need our support as well as other businesses. Last time I golfed, I didn't french kiss my playing partner or punch him in the face when he hit a good shot. I don't recall walking hand in hand with my buddies when approaching my golf ball. The golf courses will not have their clubhouses open, electronic payment only, food and drinks are not being served, no beverage carts out on the course, raised cups/flags on the greens so no one is touching it, no golf carts allowed, walking only, etc., etc. No one is cleaning the clubhouse, restrooms or bars for us! If you have to piss, go water a tree! Just remember that monies that are lost to these golf courses will be requesting money from the state and federal government that could be used elsewhere. We are also allowing places like Menards, Home Depot, Lowes, and other hardware stores to be open, because we all need to buy lawn care products or home improvement items. Because that's essential. Do you see how wide the aisles are in these stores? Give me a break! It's safer for me to go golfing than it is to deal with all the morons at the grocery stores. At any time their are at least 100 or more people at the store. Everyday I drive past a store and it's like the day before Thanksgiving! Seriously? We're all headed for a zombie apocalypse! Start building your underground shelters! Get a brain and get a life!
Greg 64 days ago
I don’t know where you live, but this is what our governor said:
Cooper said in cases where local government and stay-at-home order differ, the more restrictive order will apply. While North Carolinians are ordered to stay home, the order doesn't mean you must be at home at all times.

"This order directs you to stay home unless you need to leave for essentials, such as your job, food, medicine, outdoor exercise, or to help someone," Cooper said. "It bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to stay at least six feet away from each other."
This is probably in line with most of the other states’ orders; my point is that golf is no different than other solo outdoor exercise, like hiking or biking.
goodorbad Greg 64 days ago
Except for the people that will have to clean the restrooms, the club houses, maintain the courses for you, the beverage cart runs. . .Just whack a few foam balls at your open park or your back yard.
ShanzLawless Greg 63 days ago
Not really sure why this needs to be explained to someone who doesn't live in Wisconsin, but driving to the golf course is in clear violation of the travel restrictions set forth by OUR Governor. ONLY ESSENTIAL traveling {driving} is allowed. Yes, we can go outside and take a walk so long as we keep a fair distance away from one another, but NO - we can't hop in our cars for the sake of smacking a few balls around, at least - we're not supposed to anyway. IF this is allowed, then the whole system falls apart, people will then travel all over the state, out of state, etc, and the spread will be far deadlier that way. Our mission isn't to move the virus from one place to the next, our mission is to hold it in place and crush it. Golfing moves the virus. It's quite simple to comprehend, albeit lost on the vast majority.
i3putt ShanzLawless 61 days ago
What is the difference between taking a long walk and taking a long walk with my golf clubs. It's real easy for me to play a round of golf without being 6 or 60 feet from anyone and not touching anything anyone else will touch. As for driving my car to get there, no one should be touching my car unless they're trying to break into it in which case I hope they get the virus and die a miserable death.
Jill 64 days ago
What is it about 'stay at home' that these idiots do not understand? None of us are happy, all of us are deprived, however if we do as directed, maybe, just maybe this hell will be over soon and we all can return to our pleasures. No one is more entitled than the next.
Greg 64 days ago
If you were an avid hiker, and the govt. ordered all the national forests closed, or even decided to ban all walking, hikers might rightly want to petition for an exception, arguing that hiking promotes good mental health, outdoor exercise and doesn't necessitate that there be any social contact or closeness. Golf certainly doesn't promote self-righteous insults or snarkiness.
Marcette Greg 64 days ago
I don’t care if you hike or golf stay inside. Unless you are willing die at home and be buried in your back yard your actions endanger others if you get the virus. That runs from EMS to hospital staff to funeral directors that handle your corpse. You do not have the right to endanger their lives because you want to play a game. Suck it up!
NancyJ Marcette 63 days ago
Yes! Do not go outside or you will die! Stay in your bunker and be careful not to breathe the air! Or you will die!
i3putt Marcette 61 days ago
I guess you're right. I'm going to shoot my dog now so I don't have to walk him. I suggest you do the same.
Jayoak 64 days ago
What a bunch of self centered whack jobs. Little Johnny wants to play and nasty gov said no.
Randy 64 days ago
As if tings are not bad enough now these guys have to whine and cry. Maybe if they snivel loud enough they will have their way. Now days it seems like if you dont like a rule you just have to whine your way out of it. No these guys have to suck it up just like the rest of us do. You have to learn to find other things to keep you happy.
Lawrence 64 days ago
To feel alive again, just pay for a round of golf.
Marcette 64 days ago
It is nice to know the world still has self centered selfish idiots during the crisis.
i3putt Marcette 62 days ago
It's real obvious negative comments are being spewed by non golfing people who didn't bother to look at the extremes the golf courses are willing to go though to keep golfing safe for all. Among those measures are, clubhouses closed and online payment only, walking only, no rakes, no ball washers, cup raised so you don't have to reach in and get your ball, etc.. Their proposal is well thought out and makes sense. A round of golf could certainly been done a lot safer than going to your still open liquor store and buying your case of Schlitz. Before you open your blowhole and let the idiot wind blow you should probably do a little research into the proposal.
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