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Marion golf club still open despite stay-home order

Staff writer

While many outdoor activities ground to a halt recently with Gov. Laura Kelly’s stay-home order, Marion Country Club remains one of Marion County’s last bastions for recreation, Marion resident Coty Miller said.

The country club’s board of directors has taken precautions, however, like inserting a stopper in each hole so the flags don’t have to be touched to remove a ball.

“They’ve done a good job emailing us and letting us know to practice social distancing,” Miller said. “It’s very important for people to be able to come out, get out of the house, and enjoy the fresh air. Maybe for a little bit just forget about what’s going on.”

Just being able to hit a ball was a valuable experience, said Justin Kohlman, a Cottonwood Valley resident and freshman at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“Most of my team is from Minnesota, so no one else can even practice,” he said. “At least I have this opportunity.”

Thursday was the first day Kohlman and his father, Jeff, visited Marion Country Club. The club’s maintenance person was the only other one around, which lessened concerns about social distancing.

One advantage to the nearly empty course was that it provided an opportunity to do work on key aspects like his short-game, Kohlman said.

“When there’s no one out here I’m able to hit a lot of different shots and practice different stuff,” he said.

There is no clubhouse access or cart rental available, and even those using their own carts are limited to one person each.

Deciding which precautions to take came in part from looking at how courses in other communities implemented safety measures, said country club president Dusty Hett.

“It’s such a big area that you don’t have to get close to each other,” he said.

While Thursday was nearly empty, Friday saw 10 to 15 golfers at the course around 3 p.m.

Despite Marion County’s stay-home order, Miller said seeing that many golfers made sense.

“I’m not really surprised at all,” he said. “People want to come out and play golf.”

Last modified April 16, 2020

 

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