Golfers in the Lodi and Poynette areas can once again hit the links at Lodi Golf Club, Shepherds Meadow in Poynette or their other favorites. However, there are restrictions in play as the state is still under the “Safer at Home” order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The opening of golf courses around the state is part of the Badger Bounce Back plan as presented by Governor Tony Evers. Golfers across the state were allowed to tee off — with certain limitations — as of 9 a.m. Friday, April 24.
While time on the course can be a welcomed break from the monotony of staying at home, courses are asking that patrons still adhere with the social distancing guidelines as well as other proper golf course etiquette.
“We will be following the guidelines put in place by Governor Evers,” owners of Shepherds Meadow Mike and Carla Housner said in an email to the newspaper. “Our clubhouse will remain closed, and we will book tee times over the phone.” Shepherds Meadow opened on Saturday, April 25.
All golfers must walk the respective courses as golf carts will not be allowed.
In a post on its Facebook page, Lodi Golf Club said, “We will be offering golf and nothing else.” Lodi will have an attendant on duty and the clubhouse will be closed.
Shepherds Meadow has received numerous calls trying to book a tee time since the announcement was made. The Housners said that tee times will be spaced 20 minutes apart. Its about double what the average time is under normal circumstances.
The cost to play the nine holes at Shepherds Meadow is $13, and playing them twice is $20. For more information or to book a tee time, call (608) 635-3837.
Shepherds Meadow posted additional guidelines from the state to its Facebook page. They say that if you arrive without a reservation, you must wait in your vehicle until a proper opening with appropriate spacing is available. You may only use a cart if you have your own or are a member with a key to one. Drinks are available, but must be ordered and paid through the window.
“These are not our rules, we have no say in changing them until the government does,” the post concluded. “Please do not ask us to bend, break or change them for you — we’re all trying to get through this together and need to follow the orders in place.”
Lodi Golf Club was taking reservations, too, shortly after the news was announced early last week. They opened on Friday, April 24, and asked that all reservations be made by phone at (608) 592-3757 or online at www.lodigolf.com. The cost during the week is $11 for nine holes and $20 for 18. On weekends, the prices increase by $2 each. Online reservations require payment at the time of booking. The course is not allowing walk-ons.
Lodi Golf Club stated that when golfers arrive for their tee time that “they report to the attendant on duty before proceeding to the (first) tee.”
The course is spacing its tee times to every 12 minutes and is asking patrons to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before their scheduled time, in order to eliminate crowds near the first tee. The course is also raising its cups at each hole to eliminate balls from actually going in the holes and golfers needing to retrieve them.
Also under the current temporary restrictions, courses cannot offer their normal league play.
“We are postponing leagues until the course can be fully open, unfortunately,” the Housners said.
While the shutdown is currently during the usual non-peak times for Wisconsin golf courses, it will still be tough moving forward under the new temporary guidelines.
“This shutdown has been detrimental for all golf courses, including ours,” the Housners said. “Even though there is not a lot of play in the spring, this is a time of recovery after being closed for the winter. A time when people get their passes if they didn’t already in the fall, when they sign up for leagues and get ready for summer.”