Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Two of Rochester’s public golf courses are getting ready to open for the first time this year.

Wintry weather and the COVID-19 pandemic have kept the courses closed.

Gov. Walz last week authorized the re-opening of golf courses around the state. They were among the recreational sites that were included in his shutdown order issued in March. Some local and area private courses opened soon after they were given the green light.

Rochester Parks and Recreation Director Paul Widman Tuesday announced the Eastwood and Soldiers Field courses will open Saturday at 8:00 a.m. He says reservation and purchase procedures at the courses have been modified.

To maintain social distancing guidelines in the course clubhouses, reservations for tee times will be required and groups will be limited to four players. Walk-up tee times will not be accepted at this time.

Reservations will be accepted beginning Thursday, April 23 at 8:00 a.m. Eastwood Golf Course can be reached at 507-281-6173. Soldiers Field Golf Course can be reached at 507-281-6176. Payment must be submitted via credit or debit card; cash will not be accepted. To purchase an annual pass for the first time, please visit rochestermngolf.com. To renew an annual pass, please call 507-273-2856.

Widmann says some procedures have been modified to meet new health and safety requirements. “Golfers should be prepared for changes before, during, and after play,” said Widman.

Specific instructions will be posted at the golf courses, but below are some guidelines golfers should be aware of before they arrive:

To prevent congregating, please arrive no more than 20 minutes before your scheduled tee time.

Social distancing of 6-10 feet apart is required for anyone not from same household.
The clubhouses will be limited to four golfers at a time. Waiting lines with distancing marks will be posted.

One rider per cart unless golfers are from the same household. Cart supply may be limited.
Food and beverage services will be limited to bottled water, soft drinks, and prepackaged food items.

Widman notes that Northern Hills and Hadley Creek golf courses will remain closed until further notice. All golf lessons, lesson programs, and The First Tee junior golf program are also suspended during this period.

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