BRUNSWICK — With the first of May bringing golf back into the lives of Maine residents, Brunswick Golf Club, “The hub of Maine golf” as it calls itself, is ready to take on golfers on Friday. 

AJ Kavanaugh, the director of golf at Brunswick Golf Club, posted an update late Wednesday night on Facebook outlining how Brunswick GC will go about letting golfers play the course while adhering to guidelines put forth by Governor Janet Mills and the state of Maine. 

Kavanaugh started the post by clearing up a couple of questionable guidelines that may have misled golfers. 

In Mills’ guidelines, it was stated that you can only golf in the county you reside in. This creates problems for golf courses like Brunswick GC as players from Topsham would not be able to play their home course as Topsham is not in Cumberland County but just a town over from Brunswick. Kavanaugh reached out to officials and got quick clarification. 

“We have confirmed that this wasn’t the intent of the statement and at least a “member” provision will be added to it,” Kavanaugh said on Facebook. “We believe this will also take care of any questions regarding “Out of State Golfers.” Those who are members and reside in Maine during golf season (even if their technical residency is down south or elsewhere) will be permitted to play their home club right away.”

In a phone interview on Thursday, Kavanaugh talked about how he got clarity on the club’s biggest question mark. 

“I had a friend working closely with Heather Johnson who reached out on my behalf and I was lucky enough to get a quick response from her that that wasn’t the intent of the guidelines,” Kavanaugh said. “I live in Topsham and our club president lives in Topsham and so they wanted to clear it up. The MSGA came out today and clarified that members were OK. They weren’t going to reword it but we were ok with food and drink as well. 

“If you join the club you can play. We have an open enrollment. We have always been open to the public. We are technically open to the public, but members can be from any nearby residents.”

In the guidelines a rule was written that “no food or drink service” was allowed. However, Kavanaugh made sure that curbside food and drink service was allowed. 

“I clarified that curbside or to-go service by McAvoy’s On The Green (a separate entity anyway) or any golf course food and beverage department for that matter will still be permitted, as it was even when golf courses have been closed this month,” Kavanaugh said.

McAvoy’s On The Green posted on Facebook on Thursday that a special menu would be available to-go, as well as a full bar menu. The restaurant is requesting that golfers purchase gift cards to pay for food and drinks and it is also accepting Venmo. 

Kavanaugh reiterated different rules that were put in place by the state such as a closed clubhouse, single-rider carts and closed practice greens. 

Brunswick GC is going with raised holes to help minimize touch points, or places where people will be touching the same thing, thus spreading germs. 

“We will be staying with raised cups on the course,” the post read. “It is the number 1 option listed on the Checklist. It actually recommends removing flagsticks among all other on-course touching points but it says if you do leave the flagsticks in the hole it must remain in the hole at all times (not touched) and the cup should be raised. … Our local rule of the ball having to come to rest within a putter-length after striking the raised cup remains in place, and we encourage golfers to “do what’s fair” if there is any question on whether a shot should be considered as in the hole.”

“We are getting a lot of kickback from traditionalists but it’s the safest thing to do,” Kavanaugh said over the phone. 

At Bath Golf Club, golf will be opened on Friday as well. 

In a Facebook post, Bath GC mentioned the rule that you have to stay in your car until 10 minutes prior to your tee time. The club also linked a website where you could schedule a tee time.

Brunswick Golf Club’s first tee is ready for visitors starting Friday. (AJ Kavanaugh / Submitted photo)

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