Dear MetGCSA Superintendents,

After days of countless emails and conversations and the hard work of many in the golf industry throughout New York State we can now say with confidence that New York golf course maintenance employees are considered essential and that golf courses, both public and private are permitted to be open for golfing.  This determination is based on multiple and independent verbal and email confirmations from the Empire State Development Corporation, the State entity that determines if businesses qualify as an essential business for the purposes of NY Executive Order 202.6. 

Unfortunately, the Empire State Development Corporation for reasons unknown is unwilling to put these terms in writing or in any official capacity. However, we would not send this email if we did not have complete confidence in our sources. 

Regardless, and there is no easy way around this, every facility is going to have to make their own choice in this matter. Permission for a course to operate is different than if it should operate given the circumstances we find ourselves. 

As we are an association of golf course superintendents we are going to refrain from offering any operating recommendations but felt compelled to share our findings in case they may be helpful in your discussions with club officials. With respect to golf course maintenance, keep practices to a minimum, ensure social distancing is strictly adhered to by employees, and adapt other preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Finally, prepare minimal maintenance and staffing plans for worst case scenarios. In short, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

We anticipate sending out another survey either Friday or Monday that will be more focused on your short-term staffing plans.

Mike McCall