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The Villages
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Officials signal readiness to back down on unpopular golf course changes

The Villages District Office has signaled a willingness to back down on previously announced rule changes that would have loosened measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 on golf courses in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

A number of changes were set to take effect Oct. 12, but due to an uproar of golfers, the District appears ready to back down.

The most controversial change was the plan to limit golf groups to two carts. In light of fears of COVID-19, golfers earlier this year had been encouraged to each use their own carts and ride only with spouses or significant others with whom they cohabitate.

The use of four golf carts has become common in The Villages since the threat of COVID-19.

Villagers said they feared that limiting the number of golf carts would mean they could end up riding in a golf cart with a complete stranger.

A notice had been issued earlier this week outlining the upcoming changes.

District Manager Richard Baier at Wednesday morning’s Amenity Authority Committee meeting announced that some of the changes would be amended.

“We should have something to you later this week,” Baier told members of the AAC, who oversee amenities, including executive golf courses, north of County Road 466.

AAC member Don Deakin welcomed the news.

“People fear they’ll be forced to ride with strangers. They don’t like the policy. They want the policy revised so they can still use four golf carts per group,” Deakin said.

Baier cautioned that the huge increase in the number of golf carts over the past several months has been putting a strain on the courses.

“We do two million rounds of golf per year,” Baier said.

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