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Golf courses surprised but excited for sudden opening in Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz issued executive order 20-38 on Friday allowing outdoor recreation.

Posted: Apr 17, 2020 10:44 PM
Updated: Apr 18, 2020 7:23 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order on Friday that allows you to once again enjoy outdoor recreation such as golfing, boating, fishing, hunting, and hiking. The announcement came as a surprise to everyone – course owners included.

“It was a surprise,” Andy Black said. “We kind of heard rumblings that it was coming soon, especially with Wisconsin saying they were going to open next week. To be honest with you, I kind of thought that’s our target date so when we heard it today we were a little surprised but very excited."

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Last fall, the Rochester golfing community was shocked when Willow Creek announced it would be closing. Without missing a beat, Andy Black and his business partner, Will Lancaster, stepped in as the new owners of the links located in south Rochester.

When the Governor announced golf courses can reopen, we wondered if there was anybody more excited than Black and Lancaster.

“Probably not,” Black said. “We’ve been ready for a while and with the nice weather for the last few weeks, it was a little tougher of a wait. However, the excitement is very much pent over.”

While the Governor’s executive order allows golfers to return to the fairways, there are guidelines that must be followed including maintaining social distance, not gathering in large crowds, and staying close to home.

Black says Willow Creek will have signage around the course reminding patrons of the guidelines and restrictions.

“The clubhouse is closed in most fashions, however, the bathrooms will be open and we will have some stuff to go.”

With the good news, the phones won’t stop ringing. Golfers are clearly eager to get back to the sport they know and love.

“Most of the golfers we tell them there is still some snow, it’s still wet in some areas, we are walking only and not one person has cared. They’re just excited to be out here – they just want to be outside and what better way is there than to be on a golf course?”

With the clubhouse being mostly closed, Willow Creek is asking that you sign up for a tee time online here.

Other facilities that may reopen include bait shops, shooting ranges, game farms, public and private parks, as well as boating and off-highway services. The order is effective as of 5 AM on Apr. 18.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 133802

Reported Deaths: 2402
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin34033991
Ramsey14073360
Dakota9823138
Anoka8661150
Washington593272
Stearns582543
Scott338234
Olmsted325230
St. Louis296569
Wright248314
Clay229743
Nobles226816
Blue Earth20437
Carver17897
Sherburne168522
Kandiyohi16705
Rice163310
Mower151717
Winona125019
Crow Wing101022
Chisago10022
Lyon9656
Benton9409
Waseca9289
Beltrami8917
Otter Tail8627
Todd8055
Steele7593
Nicollet73017
Itasca72717
Morrison7269
Douglas6963
Freeborn6694
Polk6434
Le Sueur6235
Martin61317
McLeod5974
Goodhue58511
Watonwan5784
Becker5614
Pine5430
Isanti5415
Chippewa4353
Carlton4341
Mille Lacs40615
Dodge3940
Hubbard3902
Wabasha3780
Cass3705
Pipestone35017
Rock3284
Meeker3263
Brown3213
Unassigned29053
Yellow Medicine2836
Cottonwood2800
Murray2783
Redwood27511
Roseau2640
Fillmore2600
Renville25211
Sibley2523
Faribault2310
Wadena2313
Jackson2101
Kanabec20910
Houston2041
Swift2011
Pennington1911
Lincoln1820
Stevens1821
Aitkin1792
Koochiching1694
Pope1560
Big Stone1380
Wilkin1344
Lac qui Parle1333
Marshall1211
Lake1190
Norman1150
Mahnomen1132
Clearwater1110
Grant984
Red Lake782
Traverse560
Lake of the Woods441
Kittson400
Cook160

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115574

Reported Deaths: 1621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk18874288
Woodbury718394
Johnson584430
Black Hawk557498
Linn5513129
Dubuque518657
Scott454138
Story398918
Dallas344344
Pottawattamie323544
Sioux242516
Buena Vista225512
Marshall201436
Webster183015
Plymouth165727
Wapello152562
Clinton148326
Muscatine144258
Des Moines138610
Cerro Gordo136225
Crawford135514
Warren12477
Carroll114512
Jasper109634
Henry10545
Marion100710
Lee95410
Tama94437
Delaware77812
Dickinson7347
Wright7191
Boone7179
Mahaska68724
Bremer6719
Harrison65311
Washington65311
Jackson6283
Benton5812
Lyon5497
Clay5284
Louisa52115
Winnebago48719
Hardin4757
Winneshiek4749
Hamilton4684
Kossuth4660
Cedar4605
Poweshiek45611
Buchanan4514
Jones4444
Floyd43311
Emmet42917
Clayton4193
Iowa4059
Cherokee4022
Page3990
Mills3971
Sac3974
Guthrie39115
Cass3883
Franklin38018
Butler3782
Fayette3744
Shelby3721
Allamakee3638
Madison3603
Chickasaw3561
Clarke3493
Humboldt3233
Hancock3164
Palo Alto3102
Calhoun3074
Grundy3075
Osceola2791
Mitchell2750
Howard2699
Monroe25911
Monona2441
Jefferson2381
Taylor2362
Union2324
Appanoose2253
Pocahontas2232
Fremont2021
Lucas2016
Ida1922
Greene1860
Davis1764
Van Buren1742
Montgomery1737
Adair1611
Keokuk1601
Decatur1500
Worth1440
Audubon1421
Wayne1203
Ringgold882
Adams810
Unassigned260
Rochester
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Charles City
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Temps gradually warming through the week!
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