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Some golf courses seeing increase in foot traffic

Updated: Apr. 10, 2020 at 6:48 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - COVID-19 hurt some local businesses, but not all are seeing a decrease in foot traffic right now. At least one local golf course is just as busy if not busier than usual.

Maple Ridge Golf Course in Columbus continues to see players each day. It’s a good way for people to get out, get exercise, and still maintain social distancing. Not all golf courses are open to the public right now, but both workers and players at Maple Ridge are happy to see the doors still open there.

“[It’s] too nice of weather to be stuck inside when you have to be anyway and golf’s probably the only sport I can think of where you can space out and still play,” member John Young said.

Young played a lot of golf before COVID-19 became a concern. He said he played around three times a week. Now, just like most people, his job has changed since the Coronavirus became a threat locally. With his new hours he spends more time at home, but can spend more time on the course as well.

“I’ve got to get out of the house especially this time of year and golf is an escape from work for me," Young said.

Maple Ridge General manager Mike Gill said they’re staying busy, but they’re still adhering to the guidelines of social distancing and keeping golfers safe.

“We sterilize the [golf] carts before they go out, we sterilize the carts when they come in," Gill said. "We sterilize the facility every day. Because of social distancing we have to go to one cart per person.”

Which leads to more walking on the course. Since gyms are closed, it’s good exercise for guys like Young, who normally rides the cart for 18.

“This will be the first time I’ve walked three rounds in the same week in seven years," Young said. "I’m glad I play because if I was playing football or baseball, I don’t know what I’d be doing.”

Not all public and semi-private courses are open right now, and Gill knows they're fortunate to still be going.

“It’s scary from our standpoint too because you never know what the economy’s going to do," Gill said. "Feel fortunate today yes, but tomorrow I never know.”

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