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Golf course adapts carts to protect golfers

NOW: Golf course adapts carts to protect golfers

PLYMOUTH, Ind.-- Swan Lake Resort was not going to let germs or the coronavirus pandemic stop their golfers from fully enjoying their time out on the course!

The club is known for their world class dining, lodging, and golfing experiences.

However, the pandemic has caused lots of changes to the groups every day to day operations.

Early on, it caused the club to shut down their

“We've got the golf course open now. We’ve got the hotel opened up as of yesterday, we’re going to open the restaurant hopefully next week we’re still trying to figure out what’s happening there" says the Swan Lake General Manager, Matt Hovermale, "But we’re doing everything we can to find the safest way to have our guests here and make sure their safe that’s first and for most for us is to make sure everyone’s safe.”

Early March, the Marshall County Health Department sent the local courses a letter saying they could open.

The only stipulation was that the golfers had to walk because carts are not conducive to social distancing.

Within the last week, the Health Department said they would allow single cart usage among courses, but still restricted two person rounds.

However, the staff knew not all the members would be too keen on walking their usual 18 holes, so they decided to come up with a solution.

"We have playbooks in everything I’ve ever done" says Hovermale, "I’ve got a play book for this and a playbook for that but no one has a playbook for this. This is something brand new.”

Adjustments have been made across the board to try and cope.

“Everyone that walks in the door gets their temperature checked" says Hovermale, "All of our staff is in masks and gloves we’ve actually built like a divider on the golf carts we’ve put it in the golf shop so that’s got them separated out.”
But what about those cart dividers?
“I said let’s see if we can think of something like a divider in the golf carts and Chad went to work on it and came up with this really cool vinyl sheet that we put up in between the seats and we showed that too the health department there in Marshall County and they said sure go with that, that’s what we hoped people would do!”

And by the end of the week last week, the course had 90 carts ready to go.

That is almost all of their 120 cart fleet outfitted with a vinyl divider they hand crafted at the course!

The vinyl divider is completely clear allowing the driver to have control over the cart while staying safe.

But the divider makes riding with passengers possible.

Allowing you to still interact with one another, focus on the game, while staying healthy and keeping your germs apart.”

So far, the response has been great.

“I like the carts, I like the dividers, and I like the people I play with” says member Ron Smith.
“Before they wouldn’t let us play" says another member, Dean Weldy, "two guys and a cart can now play. With your buddy and all that good stuff.”
“I think they’re good, they keep each other apart but still two guys to a cart" says member John Judd.
All the members happy to know the course is looking out for their best health and golf interests.

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