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Riverside County Opens Trails And Golf Courses With Some Restrictions

A General View of the 9th hole on the Mountain course of the LA Quinta resort Golf Course, Palm Springs (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
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Riverside County announced today that golf courses will re-open, effective immediately. Because the one thing that everyone misses the most right now is definitely golf.

Social distancing is still a must. But if golfers manage to stay six-feet away from each other and wear facemasks, they can enjoy their fine sport at their leisure.

A few other rules:

  • Sports are limited to four players
  • No caddies!
  • No large gatherings or tournaments
  • No in-person dining at the clubhouse (noooo!)
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The county clarified that hiking trails, parks and tennis courts will also be open for non-contact outdoor sports. But picnic tables, playgrounds and team sports will remain closed.
Other activities cleared by county officials were distinctly — well, not low-brow — with outdoor spaces cleared for "equestrian activities" and "pickleball."

The decision seems to be influenced by a desire to resume a favorite sport in one particular part of Riverside County — Palm Springs. In the news release annoucing the relaxation of rules, Scott White, chief operating officer for the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau said:

“Golf is an iconic part of our destination, our history and our economy...We will continue to work with Riverside County with the goal to help reopen more tourism related businesses.”

No word on when tourism will resume, however, given that short-term rentals in popular Riverside County desinations like Palm Springs, Joshua Tree and the Coachella Valley, have been temporarily banned.

According to Riverside's public health department, 85 people in the county have died from coronavirus and over 2,800 have been infected.

Here's a look at how Riverside County compares to the rest of the state, courtesy of the JSK Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University and the Big Local News group, in partnership with the Google News Initiative.