LW golfers say course closure is out of bounds

Leisure World golfers unhappy about golf course shutdown

Golden Rain Foundation Executive Director Randy Ankeny met with about 20-25 residents about the closure of the golf course on Nov. 25. He said that amenities, including the course were being closed due to COVID concerns and for the safety of the residents. The course is scheduled to stay closed until Dec. 21. Photo by Linda Herman

Golfers in Leisure World have been protesting the closure of the community’s golf course, which was shut down on Nov. 25. More than 20 residents showed up to a meeting at the course to hear from Executive Director Randy Ankeny, according to some of the residents who showed up.

Ankeny informed them of the closure, due to COVID concerns and said that the course would be closed until Dec. 21. But residents who use the course are arguing that the golf course should remain open, as it is an outdoor activity that easily allows for social distancing. They also add that players are also abiding by the mask mandate as well. The closure included all Leisure World Amenities, including the Bocce Ball and Pickle Ball courts.

“I think Mr. Ankeny overacted, myself,” Linda Herman said.

According to Herman, a zoom meeting has been scheduled for Dec. 15, where they will be given more information and a decision on the request to reconsider the closure. Ankeny did not return a voicemail message left on Monday for comment. An email sent to him on Tuesday also did not get a replay as of press time.

Resident Bob Barnum is arguing that golf is tailor made for social distancing. He said people are encouraged to get outside and walk for exercise and golfing is essentially just that. He also said that he plays golf almost every day, often for four or five hours a day and that closing the course has a major impact on his life.

“In essence, they’re gutting my day, so they are essentially taking away my life,” Barnum said.

The course was closed down during the first wave of shutdowns and Barnum said it had a depressive impact on his mental and physical psyche. Moreover, he argues, aside from a starter and a groundskeeper, there are no employees on the course to speak of and that the golfers police themselves in regards to distancing and mask wearing.

“It’s just a really depressing situation,” Barnum said.