Pebble Beach golf course

Golf courses in Monterey County had something going for them when the order came down from the county's Health Officer Edward Moreno to shelter-in-place. Moreno considered golf exercise, so courses were allowed to remain open as long as players practiced social distancing.

Some courses shut down voluntarily, but a few courses remained open, including Quail Lodge & Golf Club—at least to members. The website stated it was closed to outside guests during the shelter-in-place order.

On Monday, March 23, Moreno changed his order to reflect Gov. Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order issued last week. Over the weekend, the state issued a list of specific essential sectors and workforces included in the order and golf courses didn't make the cut.

"I am therefore ordering all public and private golf courses to close immediately," Moreno said in a statement. "Workers that are necessary to minimally maintain the course are considered essential and may continue to report to work provided they comply with 'social distancing' requirements."

Courses that shut down ahead of Moreno's decision included all of Pebble Beach's courses, the Pebble Beach Company announced on Friday. The closure included the property it owns in Monterey, the Del Monte Golf Course.

"The health and well-being of our guests, employees and their families is of paramount importance," the statement on the company's website reads. All resort operations, including all golf courses, hotels, restaurants, retail shops, health and tennis clubs were temporarily closed until April 17. 

(The company is keeping the Gallery restaurant and Pebble Beach Market open for take-out meals for Pebble Beach residents.)

"Once the world is ready to travel again, we look forward to welcoming you to Pebble Beach," the statement reads, adding that its taking reservations for dates beyond April 17.

The Monterey Peninsula Country Club, a private club inside the area of Pebble Beach, announced it was closing March 17, to reopen April 15. Poppy Hills, owned by the Northern California Golf Association, announced its closure the day before Moreno's new order.

Those reopening dates could be optimistic. Newsom's order came with no end date. In response, Moreno updated his order, erasing his original end date of April 7. In other words, as long as the orders remain in place there is no golf in Monterey County. 

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