Let the people play golf!

    President Trump and Prime Minister Abe Golfing President Donald J. Trump watches as Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a putt during their golf game Sunday, May 26, 2019, at the Mobara Country Club in Chiba, Japan.
    President Donald J. Trump watches as Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a putt during their golf game Sunday, May 26, 2019, at the Mobara Country Club in Chiba, Japan. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

    It’s spring and sunny days are beginning to pop up, so it’s only natural that the minds of legislators would turn to a favorite pastime … golf. 

    However Gov. Tony Evers, in his efforts to keep people #SaferAtHome, ordered golf courses temporarily closed, as one of the state’s non-essential businesses.

    Rep. Rob Hutton
    Rep. Rob Hutton

    So Republican legislators, led in the effort by Rep. Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield), did their research and raised their objections in a letter they sent to Evers on March 27 with 40 GOP representatives and senators signing on.

    “While many outdoor activities remain open for the public to enjoy, including State Parks, the Evers Administration has ordered the closure of all golf courses in the State of Wisconsin,” they wrote. 

    “Golf is a popular outside sport and can be good exercise for those who play,” Hutton explained. 

    “Therefore, we request that golf courses be allowed to reopen in the State of Wisconsin under the following guidelines including:

    • Clubhouses and dining remain closed in their entirety
    • Only four golfers per hole
    • Only one golfer per golf cart
    • Standard social distancing is practiced”

    Doing further homework, Hutton consulted with the Wisconsin PGA/WPGA Junior Foundation, Wisconsin State Golf Association, Wisconsin Golf Course Superintendent Association and the Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin, which added guidelines that he writes could be considered:

    • Pro shops remain closed
    • Payments are made online or over the phone
    • Practice facilities remain closed
    • Flagsticks removed or touchless accommodation (raised cup liners, etc.)
    • Remove objects on course that could be touched (ball washers, rakes, water coolers, benches, etc.)
    • Tee times no less than 12 minutes apart
    • The placement of appropriate signage outside the pro shop and clubhouse outlining the social distancing guidelines in place per the Safer at Home order 

    A query to Evers’ press team about whether the request has been given priority, or if the governor had given the matter consideration, had not been answered as of press time.

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    Melanie Conklin
    Melanie Conklin is proud to be a native of the state of Wisconsin, which gave humankind the typewriter, progressivism and deep-fried cheese curds. Her several decades in journalism include political beats and columns at Isthmus newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal and other publications. When not an ink-stained wretch, she served time inside state, local and federal government in communications. She is excited to be back at the craft of journalism as Deputy Editor of the Wisconsin Examiner. It’s what she’s loved ever since getting her master’s degree in journalism from the UW-Madison. Her family includes one husband, two kids, four dogs and five (or more) chinchillas.