SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — Coronavirus is turning Sacramento-area golf courses into tourist destinations.
With most courses closed in the Bay Area, golfers there are going the extra mile to play a round.
“They’re desperate for golf, especially because the weather’s nice,” said Sagar Passi, a Sacramento-area golfer.
Bay Area golfers are not troubled one bit about the long drive to get back on a course.
“We’ve just been trying to get clubs back in our hands, we’ve been missing it so long,” said Marshall Johnson, a golfer from Vacaville.
Johnson drove an hour to Morgan Creek Golf Club in Roseville Monday. Road tripping for a tee time is now his norm.
“We came out to Plumas Lake last week. Played at a golf course there and then came out here today,” he said.
Johnson‘s commute is short compared to others. Some from the Bay Area are traveling to Roseville from as far as Pacific Grove and San Jose.
“We are one of the few courses that’s by them and still open,” said Lorraine June, an employee at Morgan Creek Golf Club.
June said there’s been a surge of Bay Area golfers at Morgan Creek. They now account for about 30% of their business.
“We’ve had to actually make sure we’ve got two people in the golf shop all the time now. One answering the phone the whole time and the other checking people in because we’ve had that many people,” June said.
CBS13 spoke with five other courses who said the same thing. Placer County Golf courses were recently allowed to reopen under new safety guidelines. At Morgan Creek, golf carts are wiped down after every use, only one person is allowed in the golf shop at a time, and food at the restaurant is takeout only.
Local golfers said people looking to tee off in Sacramento will need to think ahead
“You definitely have to book a whole week in advance versus normally we could book a day in advance — yeah the courses are pretty packed,” Passi said.
Where there’s demand — Sacramento has the supply, and businesses are loving the extra cash.
“To me, it just means I get out of the house. You know we’ve been locked up in the house for weeks and weeks,” Johnson said.