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WQAD.com

Iowa golf thrives while Illinois falls short due to Governor restrictions

Golfers are traveling to Iowa after Gov. JB Pritzker shut down golf in Illinois due to COVID-19.

MILAN, Illinois — Spring-like weather makes it a perfect opportunity for golfers to hit the links in Iowa, but not so much in Illinois where golf courses closed last week.

But golfers, like Michael Keim, are looking for any excuse to get out.

"Now that our kitchen at home is my wife's office, it's good to get out," Keim laughs.  "It's a good opportunity to get out and still social distance."

Golfers at Duck Creek are doing their best to keep their distance.  They are using push carts, driving separately, and using foam around cups.  Duck Creek management is also wiping down golf carts after each use, using a walk-up window, and accepting only credit cards.

Keim and his group typically golf at Indian Bluffs in Milan. But after Illinois Governor JB Pritzker decided last week to shut down all golf in the state, that's not a option.

"Once the golfers leave the tee we have no control on what the restrictions are," says Pinnacle Country Club General Manager, Marlin McManaus. "They can go meet us with each other, it's really hard to monitor that."

Last year, McManaus says the club was down $50,000 in revenue due to the floods.  This year, they're expecting to be down about $30,000 to $40,000 being closed for April.

McManaus says they are using the closure as a time to get the course ready and prep the grass before groups come out. But seeing golfers across the way is frustrating.

"The sun is out and 15 or 20 minutes away people are playing golf," expresses Erin Strick, Pinnacles Golf Pro.

"We don't exactly ht down the fairway, so we are off distancing anyway," Keim comments.

Thirteen states have banned golf, some have even restricted workers from maintaining courses.