Massachusetts golf courses allowed to reopen under new restrictions


SWANSEA, Mass. (WPRI) — Tee time is back in the Bay State.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday morning that golf courses can reopen statewide, effective immediately.

It’s exciting news for Matt Killilea, director of golf at Hillside Country club in Rehoboth.

“Phones starting ringing off the hook,” he said. “We’re all nuts, everyone can’t wait to play.”

The move makes Massachusetts the final state in the country to lift its ban on golf. While Baker opted to close golf courses across the state, Gov. Gina Raimondo said Rhode Island courses could remain open as long as the venues and golfers follow the social distancing mandates.

There are some restrictions, however, for Massachusetts golfers, including the ban of all golf carts and caddies. Tee times must also be spaced 15 minutes apart, as opposed to the typical eight.

More: Guidelines for golfers and courses »

Manager of Swansea Country Club Robb Martin tells Eyewitness News that the new restrictions should not be an issue.

“Golf is one of those things where they can not only be socially responsible and be 6 feet away from each other but probably the only way they can see friends of theirs,” Martin explained.

Both Martin and Killilea said they plan to open up a little earlier than normal since they’re expecting a high volume, adding that their courses are nearly sold out for Friday.

“Our players are like our family this is an extended family,” Martin said. “It’s going to be tough not to run up and hug them, but it’s going to be pretty exciting.”

Swansea has tee times beginning as early as 6:30 a.m. and Hillside opens up at 7:30 a.m.

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