Coronavirus shelter-in-place: San Francisco's Presidio Golf Course re-opening to golfers

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On a sunny Friday, the bunkers at San Francisco's Presidio Golf course could have been mistaken for the world's largest sandbox. From the fairways to the greens, the course was jammed with families, and not a golf ball in sight. Just plenty of beach towels, frisbees and even the occasional kite.

"It's kind of surreal being out here in the middle of the fairway, and you've got people playing soccer and frisbee and having picnics and all that, but I don't know, I think it's beautiful," said one dad.

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The Presidio has maintained a much appreciated good neighbor policy, and worked to maintain a safe and fun environment for cooped up families.

But in a few days, being safe will mean honoring the rules and staying off the course itself.

"Unfortunately, walkers and flying golf balls don't mix too well, advises PGA Managing Director Don Chelemedos.

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He says the course will be returning to its mission of providing recreation, golf being one of the few sports that is able to control social distancing.

"We're taking reservations and payment over the phone," explains Chelemedos. "The clubhouse will still be locked down, so nobody will be allowed in the golf shop. People will come out after they've already paid, they'll check in with the starter, the starter will get em off the first tee."

He says crews hit the turf a little after 4:30 a.m. Mowing lawns, smoothing greens and getting the course back in playing shape.

The green fees golfers pay will also contribute a welcome boost to the budget, which includes maintenance and upkeep.

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Parents like Bridget Cannata-Denning are grateful for being allowed to play through as it were, these past few weeks.

"I know my husband probably does not like it because he'd rather be here golfing. But it's just great getting out with the kids, you know we're cooped up all week and these sand traps have been great for the kids," she says laughingly.

While the golf course will be limited to golfers, managers want families to know they're still welcome to use the miles of trails and other open space areas all around the Presidio.

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