Kapszukiewicz changes course, allows city golf courses to reopen

A controversial decision by Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz is allowing Toledo’s municipal golf courses to reopen on Friday, April 17, provided that they follow proper safety procedures and allow no Michigan residents to play there.

The reversal of position comes only a few weeks after Kapszukiewicz ordered the three courses— Collins Park, Detweiler and Ottawa Park— to be closed indefinitely.

The mayor’s office said in a statement that the change of policy is the result of Toledo’s positioning as a border city between two states who are handling the COVID-19 outbreak differently. In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine has allowed golf courses to remain open, as long as social distancing precautions are taken. In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order closing all golf courses in the state.

Caught between the two, the mayor’s office announced a closure of all three city-owned courses on March 23. Now, after consulting with the Ohio governor’s office and area health officials, the Kapszukiewicz administration has decided to allow them to reopen.

However, as the state’s stay-at-home order requires individuals who cross state lines to be quarantined for 14 days, all three of the applicable courses may not allow golfers from Michigan to play there.

Additional restrictions in the interest of public health are in place with the reopening of the three courses. No golf carts are allowed, players can only pay with a credit card, and the cups on the greens are raised so that golfers will not have to touch the pin in order to retrieve their ball.

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