By Tim Hunt
Cart restrictions lifted on public golf coursesUploaded: May 7, 2020
The re-opening of golf is a welcome change, but there are striking the differences between how private clubs and public courses are doing it.
The municipal courses in Pleasanton (Callippe Preserve) and Livermore (Las Positas) have limited tee times to one person. The restriction of no golf carts was just lifted—a move that will open up the courses to more of the golfing population.
That contrasts with private clubs that are allowing everything from singles to foursomes (Blackhawk and Castlewood). All have tight limits on how soon to show up (10 to 25 minutes early) and requests to leave immediately after the round without any socializing, let alone handshakes on the 18th green. And you’re handling your own bag no matter where you play.
The stringent public course rules, which are tighter than those in other counties, eliminates one of golf’s unique charms—the social aspect of spending four hours in fellowship with others enjoying the challenging game.
Apparently, Dr. Erica Pan, Alameda County’s health chief, didn’t care about that aspect. It is great that people can get back out and play the game they love after weeks of what amounted to semi-house arrest.
Two of my favorite Truckee area golf courses, Old Greenwood (May 15) and Gray’s Crossing (May 22), announced their opening days this week under the Nevada County health department rules. That means no golf carts or push carts, no water on the course and no bathrooms other than at the start and after nine.
Among the bullet points the club issued for players was the following:
“Please take all your garbage with you after your round. There are no bathrooms on the course. Please be courteous of the viewpoints from houses if exploring course surroundings.”
In other words, when looking for a convenient tree, check for nearby houses that are on both courses. That’s not a view a homeowner would appreciate.
The San Francisco Business Times’ Wednesday evening newsletter showed just how badly the COVID-19 shutdown has hurt Stanford Health Care, which operates ValleyCare here in the Tri-Valley.
Reporter Brian Rinker interviewed CEO David Entwistle who said that losses for March and April would be at least $135 million. That reflected the loss of all elective surgeries as well as emergency room volume that dropped by 40 percent. Elective surgery resumed this week, but he’s still expecting a difficult May. His hope for 2020 financially is to break even by year’s end.
He also clarified that 14,000 employees were asked to either take a 20 percent pay cut for 10 weeks (something few did) or use 12 days of paid-time-off in the same 10-week period. Because the paid-time-off counts on the books as it is earned that request put the hospital on better financial footing.