WACO, Texas — A steady stream of golfers hit the links at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course in Waco for the first time in more than a month. Cottonwood was forced to shut down in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The course could have reopened when Waco's shelter-in-place order expired on May 1. Instead, it opened Monday, and hundreds flocked to the course to get back in the swing of things.
"For the last six to eight weeks, I've just been kinda sitting at home, immobile, and just kinda going stir-crazy," golfer Gilbert Sais said.
To help limit the spread of the virus, Cottonwood Creek has instituted a set of extra rules for golfers. Groups cannot exceed four people, and each person in a group must either walk or have an individual cart. Rakes have been removed from sand traps, and social distancing rules remain in place.
"The most important thing is to make sure everybody's safe," Sais said. "But, it was real important to get out and enjoy it and get back to some kind of normalcy."
In addition, the course has flipped the holes inside out so the ball does not fall all the way in. That way, golfers do not have to touch the flag stick or hole when removing their ball after a made putt.
"If you just kinda ram it and hit it, it's kinda automatic. So it has it's pros and cons for it, but it was okay," Sais said.
Despite the rule changes golfers on the course, golfers said they were excited to be back outside and knock some of the rust of their game.
"They've made some changes, which were needed, but it's nice to be able to get outside and play some golf again," golfer Cody Kocian said. "Whether we are playing good or not, just to be able to get out here, get some sunlight and have the fellowship and be together is really good to all of us."
In addition to golf courses, disc golf courses and tennis courts reopened on Monday.