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Gov. Greg Abbott's Nonessential Golf Stance May Not Necessarily Be A Directive For Local Officials

Wednesday, the Dallas Morning News reported that Gov.

Wednesday, the Dallas Morning News reported that Gov. Greg Abbott told local government officials in Tuesday conference call that golf courses are not an essential business, so they may not be able to remain open in places like McKinney where city council members recently voted to keep them open. 

McKinney Mayor George Fuller isn’t so sure. 

“We are asking for clarification from the Governor’s office, though we believe that his statements were in the form of commentary and not an actual directive,” he wrote in a Thursday afternoon email.  

McKinney City Council voted in early April to allow golf courses to remain open if they maintain all CDC best practices, including enforcing social distancing guidelines, which has been a struggle for some golf courses in Collin County.

The main argument for them to be included as essential is the walking factor involved with golfing. Golf course supporters believe it is an exercise. Critics argue that they spend most of their time in golf carts going from hole to hole like gophers.

Mayor Pro Tem Rainey Rogers pointed out that it also gives people some freedom in a time when shelter-in-place is causing cabin fever. 

The majority of the council agreed. Mayor Fuller and District Council member La’Shadion Shemwell disagreed and argued that golf courses should remain close to protect the public. 

Read: Golf Courses to Remain Open in McKinney if They Follow COVID-19 Guidelines

“Council has made it clear that in the absence of compliance, courses will immediately be shut down,” Mayor Fuller said.