Reopening of some outdoor recreation beneficial to Minnesotans

Executive Order 20-38 provides chance to leave home


Sofia Seewald

Minnesota golf courses reopened as of 5 a.m. April 18 because Executive Order 20-38 was signed by Gov. Tim Walz. Tee times at Theodore Wirth Park Golf Course are 20 minutes apart with stoppers around the holes for health safety reasons.

Sofia Seewald

With little to do but go on walks all the time, I find myself watching more television and being on screens much more than I’d like to. With Gov. Tim Walz reopening certain outdoor recreation businesses, I have been able to get outside more.

Gov. Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-38 April 17, stating that the following businesses may reopen: golf courses and driving ranges, bait shops for live bait, outdoor shooting ranges and game farms, boating and off-highway vehicle services. Public and private parks and trails will also remain open. All campgrounds, outdoor retail stores and other guided outdoor activities are to remain closed. These changes went into effect 5 a.m. April 18.

This executive order has been extremely beneficial for me. Although I rarely play golf, I’ve found myself on the golf course more often to keep myself away from screens. There is something very peaceful about the game, and I enjoy walking from hole to hole when it’s nice out. However, one downside so far has been that times the course is available to play fill up fast and sometimes it feels like there are too many people on the course, which right now can feel uncomfortable. Yet, it is still manageable to stay a safe six feet apart from other players.

I live close to two beautiful public courses — Brookview Golf Course and Theodore Wirth Golf Course. Both of these courses are doing a great job maintaining the rules of the new executive order. Both have temporary restrictions in place to make sure golfers are staying safe. According to Kare 11, both courses are no longer giving out score cards, but ask people to print their own. Tee times are now 20 minutes apart instead of 10 and all social distancing procedures are to be maintained. Golfers are also not supposed to touch flags and the golf cup holes at Brookview are flipped upside down to avoid players putting their hands in the holes to get their ball.

I believe it’s important people find ways to spend time in nature, whether that be walking, running, biking, hiking, fishing, boating or golfing. Having more options for safe outdoor activities is a nice privilege people should take advantage of. Some states have yet to reopen golf courses and other recreational activities. Participating in these activities safely by following CDC guidelines is vital.