December 6, 2021

A few rounds of relief

Time to get out the clubs as area courses begin to open

Katie Vartanian/contributing photographer

The first tee is ready and so is your cart at Elm Tree Golf Course on Route 13 between Cortland and Dryden. Players were on the course Wednesday and the course is open. There are some limitations due to the coronavirus, but it’s a great way to practice some social distancing while exercising.

With so many things closing down because of the COVID-19 virus, one form of recreation is ready to offer a little distraction from these troubled times.

The area golf courses are or will be open soon for people to practice some social distancing with a little fun mixed in.

Elm Tree Golf Course, Walden Oaks Country Club, Willowbrook Golf Club, Cortland Country Club, Knickerbocker Country Club in Cincinnatus, Maple Hill Golf in Marathon and Stonehedges Golf Course in Groton are allowing golfers on the course depending on the weather conditions. Most are opening or have been open for a short time as the weather has been cooperating while making your chance to swing the clubs a day by day proposition. Knickerbocker will officially open on April 1 according to Don Knickerbocker.

“We are doing a little more cleaning of the carts,” said Eric Manning, one of the pros at Elm Tree. “The bar and clubhouse are not open except for the restrooms and you can get a drink to take on the course. We are even looking at some other ways to take greens fees to limit people being too close together.”

Walden Oaks general manager and PGA professional Marcus Bernardo says they have been open for a while.

“I feel it’s a safe environment,” Bernardo said. “You got open air and sunlight which is good for you. You can keep an adequate distance from each other.”

The clubhouse and restaurant are closed at Walden Oaks, but that is the common theme for all the courses. Building access very limited, except for the rest rooms.

“We are playing a lot by ear,” Cortland Country Club head professional Kevin Morgan said. “Today (Wednesday) was our official opening with carts. The course is a good shape.”

Jensen Pilkington at Maple Hill reminds everyone that while everything is really day to day, “It’s always good to call ahead a verify if you can play that day.”

Each of the local golf courses does have a Facebook page, so that’s another way to follow the daily activities at your course of choice.

Here’s the list of the area courses again with a phone number to call with questions or for more information.

Elm Tree Golf Course (753-1341)
Walden Oaks Country Club (753-9452)
Willowbrook Golf Club (756-7382)
Cortland Country Club (753-3336 or 753-8811)
Knickerbocker Country Club (863-3800)
Maple Hill Golf (849-3285)
Stonehedges Golf Course (898-3754).