For those looking for a distraction to all the coronavirus news, central Douglas County golf courses are still operating and offering golfers a chance to get back to a small slice of normal life.

“It actually does feel like a pretty healthy environment when you’re out here,” said Brad Seehawer, one of the owners at the Stewart Park Golf Course. “You’re out on 130 acres and you might have a friend with you, but other than that it’s a pretty good place to be right now.”

Seehawer says that they’ve only seen a slight decline in business over the last week, while public concern over the spread of COVID-19 grows.

Employees at Roseburg Country Club and the Oak Hills Golf Club in Sutherlin also confirmed only a minor decline in golfers on the links.

The local courses are taking precautions to help protect public health.

“We have a couple new procedures that have been put in place for the staff,” said Bryce Thomason, a pro shop attendant at Roseburg Country Club. “(We’re using) extra disinfectant on the carts and the keys to the carts and just the places that the people are going more consistently.”

Similar efforts are being taken at Stewart Park and Oak Hills, as well.

The country club has also suspended access to the public, while remaining open to its members.

The courses are encouraging golfers to limit interactions with employees and practice social distancing on the course. Seehawer says that many golfers have also been playing with the pin left in the hole to avoid touching the flagpole.

“(We’re) definitely recommending that and a lot of people have started to do that on their own, because it’s actually a new rule that you can do that,” Seehawer said.

With the latest restrictions on dining-in at Oregon restaurants, the Roseburg Country Club is offering take-out only. The full menu is available and golfers can still order food to take with them while on the course.

Stewart Park Golf Course has suspended its limited food options for the time being and Oak Hills Golf Club does not serve food in its clubhouse.

Joey Keeran is the sports director for KSKR The Score.

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