Government shutdown closes courses
At midnight Monday, the U.S. government officially shut down, raising tensions in Congress, putting more than 800,000 federal employees temporarily out of work and costing many golfers their tee times.
As a result of the shutdown, which stemmed from Congress’ inability to finalize a spending plan for the fiscal year starting Tuesday, national parks closed. Visitors were given 48 hours to leave, but several golf courses run by the National Park Service were forced to deny golfers the chance to play.
Response to the shutdown varied by the course.
Highland Links Golf Course in Truro, Mass., left an automated message for its patrons, which said: “Thank you for calling Highland Links Golf Course. Because of the national government shutdown, this National Park Service facility is closed until further notice. I’m very sorry for the inconvenience. Have a great day.”
Many courses, such as Rock Creek Golf Course and East Potomac Golf Course in the District of Columbia, answered incoming calls to let customers know they are closed.
East Potomac reiterated that it’s not allowed to reopen until the government starts working again. A representative from the pro shop said that it’s taking tee times for days later this week but will keep golfers updated about the course's status.
Despite the national government shutdown, Furnace Creek Golf Course in Death Valley, Calif., is open for play. The course is located on privately owned land in Death Valley National Park, so it is not subject to the closure. California State Highway 190, which runs through Death Valley National Park, is also open, allowing motorists access to the course.
Officials at other National Park Service facilities, such as Grand Lake Golf Course in Colorado, Langston Golf Course in Washington, Wawona Golf Course in Yosemite Valley, Calif., and Brooklyn (N.Y.) Golf Center, were not available for comment.