Back on course

Courtesy photo

A photo from a prior Toast of Taos Wine Festival and Golf Tournament at Taos Country Club. After being closed for six weeks, the golf course is open again with some restrictions to protect players from the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Golfers rejoiced as New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham lifted some restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic and allowed a limited reopening of golf courses after a six-week shutdown.

"While we have been allowed to reopen, there is much to be aware of before heading out to the club," said a statement from Taos Country Club.

Club management explained the current requirements on the website.

• Taos Country Club Pro Shop and Clubhouse are not accessible. Members should book their tee times online through their Chronogolf Member account. If you need help setting up an account, email

• No cash transactions allowed.

• Take your clubs home with you as club storage is not permitted.

• Bring your own water for towels and water bottles as water on course is not permitted.

• Refrain from touching flagsticks. They are not to be removed from the holes at any time.

• Only two motorized golf carts are allowed per hole and only one golfer is permitted per cart unless they are from the same household. If you have a foursome that are not from the same household, expect that two of your players will have to walk.

• Limited tee times available.

"These are just some of what to expect during these next few weeks," said the statement on the Taos Country Club website. "We will let you know additional guidelines when you arrive. Our staff is here and ready to answer any questions regarding current COVID-19 regulations.

"Thank you to our superintendent Mike Furgerson and his staff for all their great work during our closure. His crew was indeed essential and did a great job getting us ready for reopening at a moment's notice."

Valle Escondido

The Valle Escondido Homeowners Association golf course opened May 15 and "will remain open for the summer unless the governor issues a new public health order requiring courses to close," said association president Jim Sorenson in a statement. "No more than four players are allowed in a group and each player is responsible for maintaining appropriate social distancing."

"There will be no ball washers on the course and no rake in the bunker on hole number 2," Sorenson continued. "Players hitting from the sand are allowed to improve their lie in accordance with the local rule. Players are encouraged to wet a portion of their golf towel and use it to clean their ball and/or clubs. Players should not remove the flags from any hole to putt or to retrieve their ball. The cups will be partially blocked so players can retrieve their ball without removing the flag. Pull carts will not be available for rent."

The board will consult with the Golf Committee in the next week to decide under what circumstances, if any, to schedule golf tournaments this summer. Notices of any tournaments will be posted on the club door and emailed to members.

"Due to the risks posed by COVID-19, the VEHA board has decided not to open the clubhouse, the swimming pool or the children's playground this summer," said Sorenson's statement.

Anyone wishing to purchase a golf membership should contact the VEHA treasurer, Ed Fogarty, via email at or via phone at (575) 758-7862.

- Compiled by Staci Matlock

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