Governor Ducey under fire from Arizona mayors and others for allowing golf courses to operate despite COVID-19 quarantine

How one local (Grayhawk) madness led to discovery of another statewide folly

“March madness” normally refers to one of our national pastimes – the playoffs of the best college basketball teams. This year, however, with “social distancing” shutting down sporting and cultural events across the nation and around the globe, the term seems to apply to the state of mind of the Arizona state governor.


On March 23, Governor Ducey issued an executive order detailing “essential services” which were exempt from the general COVID-19 virus quarantine. Among Ducey’s “essential services” were… (are you sitting down?) – GOLF COURSES!? Was he struck on the head by a golf ball before he did that? Or does he have some special interests in keeping the golf courses open which transcends his responsibility to the public?

Never mind that the neighboring states, such as Utah and New Mexico, or the city of Palm Springs, for example, and many others across the U.S. have closed their golf courses.

Never mind that most of the European golf courses are closed, including those in England and Scotland where where this game was invented.

Never mind that it is just common sense that golf carts and equipment can be even bigger transmitters of infections than the door knobs and park benches.

Never mind that Maricopa County, where some of the world’s greatest golf courses are based (Phoenix and Scottsdale), is becoming a cesspool of COVID-19 infections (see the map below).

No wonder Arizona mayors were up in arms about this governor’s executive order. While golf courses are open, national parks are not. National forests in northern and eastern Arizona, and outside the Phoenix metro area, announced this week the closure of picnic sites, day-use areas and developed campgrounds. Some had already suspended the rental of cabins. Grand Canyon National Park suspended private, commercial and research trips on the Colorado River, starting Tuesday until late May.

So has the “march madness” afflicted the Arizona governor? It seems so. Only it’s the golfing not the basketball kind. Which is why it is time Arizona citizens to wake up from their springtime slumber and demand that golf courses be closed immediately. Or else, this state governor’s folly may be costing lives.

How one local (Grayhawk) madness led to discovery of another statewide folly

This writer did not set out to write this story. The story wrote itself.

It all started a few days ago when the management of the Grayhawk homeowners association announced that they were closing down the pools, tennis courts and other community amenities.

Amenity Closures – GREED ÜBER ALLES!

As a swimmer who does laps every morning, I was outraged. Because there is no evidence that pools or spas can transmit the deadly virus.

Grayhawk is one of the upscale guard-gated communities in North Scottsdale. The homes are nestled around two 18-hole golf courses. Here’s an excerpt from my April 2 letter to management.

Here’s one of MANY articles which point out that there is no evidence that “COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs.” And that the CDC has issued no order to close or restrict the use of pools.

COVID-19 & Pools

According to the CDC there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.

For the latest and most up to date information on the Coronavirus please visit the CDC website.

As you can see, there is NO legal or rational basis for you or the board to take such drastic action. Ours are not PUBLIC facilities which you cite for comparison which are used by hundreds of people. During the day, maybe 2 or 3 other people can be seen at the pool – sunbathing. Which they can also do at home. But for us, these are THERAPEUTIC, not recreational facilities.  etc…

Cont’d on Apr 4:

Just got back from a bike ride around Grayhawk. I was stunned to see that the golf course is still open as if everything is hunky-dory. (see the pics). If you are really concerned for our health, how come you are allowing this “amenity” to remain open, and letting these people and carts to share their germs with each other and with us who live in Grayhawk? Is it because you’re making about $1,000 per round per foursome? (without the extras).

On the other hand, you are saving on maintenance expenses for closing down the pools, tennis courts and BBQ areas for which we, the owners, are paying with our quarterly dues.

That’s greed and duplicity of the worst kind. You’re closing down the facilities for homeowner residents who are responsible adults while allowing evidently careless strangers to come into our community.

Shame on you all!  (for a second time).

Excerpts from April 2 and April 4 letters to Grayhawk HOA.

And that’s how one local madness led to the discovery of another statewide folly.






  1. Bob Avatar

    Golfers can choose to touch each other, stand next to each other and do all the things that people do anywhere in the world. Or they can play, walk, talk and be outside without ever coming closer than 10ft of each other, all in the sunlight doing something healthy and safe.

    What we really dont need are people like you spouting off about things they dont understand or in this case, like. Would I ever get in a public pool during a pandemic? Not a chance in hell. But I walked 18 yesterday, never got closer than 10ft to anyone, never touched anything they touched and certainly didnt ingest their body fluids leaking from their orifices while they swam or dripped.

    Dont have a clue as to who you are but after reading through your site, I can certainly say, your wheels are short a few spokes.

    Good luck with your mission to bring truth to the blogosphere. I am sure you’re making a big impact.


    1. BOB DJURDJEVIC Avatar

      There is a very good reason many states and most European countries have closed down their golf courses. Golf carts and other equipment, not to mention clubhouses can transmit the virus just like those in other public places which are closed in Arizona. If you keep playing golf, you are playing Russian roulette with your health and that of those around you. Is any game worth taking such risks?

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