Coronavirus News: New York's decision to keep golf courses open draws criticism

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Thursday, April 2, 2020
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Marcus Solis reports on the controversy over golf courses being granted special status as essential businesses

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York's decision to keep golf courses open during the coronavirus pandemic is drawing criticism from some who say it sends a mixed message.

While the overall directive has been to stay home, the area's public links have been crowded.

"The virus is spreading is spreading very rapidly and people are dying, and I think the county is wrong by keeping them open," Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said. "It's just sending the wrong message."

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy ordered the state's public and private golf courses to close last week, and some golfers have been traveling to courses in Westchester and Rockland counties in search of tee times.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer says public courses remain open because of the nature of the sport.

"Golf is golf, to me, is analogous to hiking and bicycling," he said. "All three are relatively individual sports. They're not contact with anyone else."

Signs have been placed on courses reminding golfers to maintain social distancing. Other safety measures include closing concession areas, limiting carts to one rider, and erecting plexiglass shields in pro shops to separate employees and visitors.

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