Owner Cathy McDevitt is ready to open CR Farm Disc Golf in West Gardiner on Friday, although she acknowledged questions still linger after Gov. Janet Mills unveiled a complex plan to reopen Maine’s sagging economy earlier this week.

Golf courses and disc golf courses are allowed to open Friday under the first phase of Gov. Mills’ plan.

“I still have plenty of questions for them,” said McDevitt, who owns the course with her husband, Randy. “Like porta-potties. Is there going to be issues with (trash), because on every hole we have trash cans and recycling cans. Is that going to be some kind of an issue? There’s still things to question about what we can and cannot do.”

McDevitt hopes to get some questions answered during a Thursday Zoom meeting with Heather Johnson, the commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic Community Development.

CR Farm Disc Golf co-owner Cathy McDevitt picks up sticks from a green on the West Gardiner course. She and her husband Randy are preparing to reopen their course on Friday. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan Buy this Photo

In the meantime, she said that while CR Farm Disc Golf will open Friday, the pro shop will be closed.

“I’m definitely not opening up my pro shop,” Cathy McDevitt said. “It’s pretty much going to be an honor box, or PayPal, or maybe me sitting in the pro shop handing stuff out the window for debit cards, possibly, down the road. But it’s still all up in the air right now as what we can and can’t do.”

Augusta Golf Park owner Greg Cyr said he, too, plans to keep his pro shop closed, but added he’s confident golfers will be able to keep social distancing when the course reopens.

“Disc golf is pretty secluded,” Cyr said. “As long as you keep the groups of people separated. We have an outdoor honor box where they sign in — and they don’t even have to sign in — I give them the option of paying me with either PayPal or Venmo, it’s right on the door… At my particular course, there’s a lot of families that come (to play) with their kids. They come up, they do their sign-in and then they go out to the course and they’re literally hundreds of feet away from everybody else. It’s pretty secluded at that point.”

Friday couldn’t come any sooner for several courses, as April is typically a busy month, said Tom “Moose” Tillson of DND Disc Golf of Sidney.

“It’s the busiest (month),” he said “It’s warm enough to play, there’s no bugs. It’s actually the best disc golf. We missed prime time, and I’ve been closed seven weeks, not just a month.”

“We lost out on our peak season, because everyone is eager to get out,” Cyr added. “Once the snow disappears, we consider this our peak season. Everyone comes in a hurry to get out and do it and rush. Typically what happens every year, if we can get opened up the first of April, we typically almost always have about three weeks of good weather, in which we saw but, unfortunately, we were closed during the best part of the month of April.”

Rick Burns, who owns Burnsboro Disc Golf in Vassalboro, planned to host a Maine Player’s Tour event on his course on April 18, which he said was one of the biggest pay days of the year.

“I was supposed to have 100 people there,” Burns said. “It was the MPT kickoff, I’ve done for, I don’t know, 14 years in a row… I’m the first (tournament) at the beginning of the year, because my course always dries up quicker than everybody else. We missed out on that tournament, and that was a guaranteed $1,000 for me that I lost. … I’m looking forward to constant traffic, but now the bugs are out.”

Disc golfers had already been reaching out to owners to see if they’d be open.

“We just had somebody parked out here,” said Tillson. “I guess they’re not understanding that (reopening) is Friday.”

“They’re driving me crazy already,” McDevitt added. “(They ask) ‘Are you going to be opening anytime soon?’ And I ask ‘Have you watched the news? Do you pay attention to what’s going on?… We’re just as excited as they are.”

All the owners agreed that pace of play on the course will have to remain steady, and that golfers will have to respect the new rules.

“If people can really, really concentrate on following the rules, there shouldn’t be an issue,” McDevitt said.

“You’re going to have to play steady,” Tillson added. “That way everybody who wants to get in can play, and you don’t want to be passing people. We’re going to have to keep doing the social distancing of six feet. I will enforce that as need be. If I see people that can’t abide by the rules, then they’re just going to have to play in their own back yard.”

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