WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After Gov. Greg Abbott, R–Texas, told several local government officials on Tuesday in a conference call that golf courses are not essential businesses and should not be open, Wichita Falls city officials said they are asking for additional information and clarification.
For now, golf courses in Wichita Falls remain open, with stipulations in place for safety.
A representative at the city’s champions course at Weeks Park said one stipulation in place is only one golfer is allowed on the tee at a time, and they must remain 50 feet apart.
Wichita Falls is one of many cities allowing courses to operate, as long as social distancing is in place conforming to the statewide order.
The local order requires courses to remove flag sticks, only one rider is allowed per cart and all carts must be sanitized after use, and players must check in outside the clubhouse.
In response to a question to the city’s COVID-19 information line, the response stated the city is seeking further clarification on the golf course issue.
Many other cities also have the same questions. Some had closed them as non essential after the first state order, some have closed them following the governor’s conference call, and some had closed them, then reopened them.
Generally, the governor’s orders supersede local rules, but local orders can be stricter as long as they don’t conflict with his order.
In a statement released Friday, Wichita Falls-Wichita County Health District Communication and Marketing Director Lindsay Barker stated the following:
“In the update provided this afternoon, Governor Abbott verbally clarified his position as to whether golf courses are considered essential or not. However, the official Executive Order, issued by the Governor, still has not changed and does not include information regarding golf courses, which is where the initial confusion and contradiction stems from. In light of his verbal announcement today, County and City officials will revisit the topic. If any changes are made, we will notify the public as soon as possible.”WFWCHD Communication and Marketing Director Lindsay Barker