Putt-ering around

Golf club member Terry Lamb rolls a put toward the hole on the first green at Alpine Meadows Golf Club on Friday afternoon. Lamb was part of a foursome who were all practicing social distancing as well as golf.

Good day Wallowa County golfers. It’s that time of year again. Time to load up those clubs, not to forget a supply of golf balls, a glove and those wonderful Martini tees, and head out to Alpine Meadows.

AMGC is in sweet condition, greens a little fast or a little slow . . . depending, but who’s complaining. A few diehard golfers, who have already played several rounds during earlier weeks of good weather, vouch for the fairways and putting greens. These same guys, who have done hours of volunteer cleanup on the course, also agree that getting out in the springtime sunshine and fresh air does a body good.

What does a body even better is to hear that the golf course officially opened April 15 to the public. With the Coronavirus pandemic and the State’s closure of nonessential businesses everyone wondered if Alpine Meadows fit in that bracket. But under the guidelines pertaining to the Covid-19 Response Executive Order No. 20-12, the Governor’s office shared the following: “Golf is allowed as long as the social distancing measures are in place. We categorize golf similar to a hike or outdoor activity.”

The AMGC Board has set up a social distancing policy that follows the order. Members have been notified of the new guidelines by e-mail/ letter, and signage has been posted at the golf course entrance. “It is imperative that the rules be followed,” stresses Judy Ables, board president.

Although the bar and café are closed, along with the driving range, Marvin Gibbs, AMGC’s clubhouse manager, or one of three part time AMGC employees, are taking care of business at the window by the front door of the pro shop. This is where all golfers must sign in/pay green fees, rent carts, pay membership dues, or purchase punch cards.

Social distancing on the golf course means remaining 6 feet apart, no personal contact (no handshakes, high fives or hugs,) one person to cart, do not touch the flag stick, and no retrieval of lost balls in out-of-bound areas.

Look at it this way. Be glad we have an ‘open’ golf course in the county. Where else can you feel safe from the virus, take a free drop out of the sand, and still have a good outing with friends. Where wearing a mask is not necessary unless you want to go incognito.

Follow the guidelines and keep our golf course open. Play safe. Have fun.

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