Why Chicago's Golf Courses Are Closed Despite Pritzker Allowing Courses to Reopen

Golf courses within the city of Chicago were shutdown in accordance to restrictions outlined by Mayor Lori Lightfoot

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Golf courses across the state of Illinois have been allowed to reopen — with notable restrictions — since early May, but that's not the case in the city of Chicago.

Public golf courses within the city limits, 11 operated by the Chicago Park District and three managed by the Forest Preserves of Cook County, remain closed due to restrictions imposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

On Friday, the mayor suggested golf courses that aren't located along the lakefront would be soon allowed to reopen, but stopped short of providing a timeline.

Under state guidelines, Illinois golfers are expected to follow social distancing measures and golf courses are required to allow tee times to be booked online and ahead of time. Additionally, no carts are allowed during play.

Lightfoot previously said that she could see the city's lakefront reopening "sometime this summer" — a move that would also allow the nearby South Shore Golf Course, the Sydney Marovitz Golf Course and the Diversey Driving Range to reopen.

" The lakefront is our is our jewel, it's our treasure," the mayor said. "But what we know is people flock in masse to the lakefront."

The lakefront saw large crowds in late March when the city got a taste of warm weather, prompting criticism from Lightfoot.

Lightfoot acknowledged that the lakefront poses a lot of complexities and it needs to be reopened in a "smart, phased way."

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