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SportsTennis

Many LI tennis clubs are shutting down, at least temporarily, while golf courses remain open

An aerial view of hole No. 8 at

An aerial view of hole No. 8 at Bethpage Black. Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

Long Island’s indoor tennis clubs are shutting down, at least temporarily, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, though golf still remains available at the big public facilities and private clubs.

Kathy Miller, manager at Carefree Racquet Club in Merrick, said her facility was closing later Monday.

“I think most of the other clubs are as well,” Miller said. “I know the Sportime clubs are closing later today, Christopher Morley is already closed. So I will say the majority of clubs are closing.”

A recorded message at the Christopher Morley facility said that club had closed on March 13, but intended to reopen on Thursday. The Sportime clubs were closing on Monday, at least until April 1.  

“Governor Cuomo announced all gyms have to be closed by 8 p.m. tonight,” Miller said. “And while we aren’t necessarily a gym, being a sports facility we would probably not fall too far out of that.”

Calls to the pro shop at Bethpage State Park, home of five courses, and to the tee times reservation number at Eisenhower Park, with three courses, indicated that tee times are available at what is the start of the season.

The Green, Yellow, and Blue courses at Bethpage are open. The Black and Red courses were scheduled to open a little later on.

Calls to popular public courses such as Swan Lake Golf Club, Rock Hill Golf Club and Sunken Meadow State Park indicated that the courses are available for play. And many private clubs are open but some clubhouses are closed.

“I’ve talked to a lot of PGA professionals who have taken a lead role with their club governors to do what’s responsible and take the best course of action in respect to the health of the members, the staff,” said Jeff Voorheis, executive director of the Met Section of the PGA.  “We’ve seen a lot of reduction of amenities at clubs. A lot of golf courses both public and private remain open, but in the private club sector the services and amenities are way down.

“A lot of the members have bought into ‘come get your bag out of the bag room, keep it in your car, and use the golf course,’” Voorhies continued.  “Most of these clubs are used to extraordinary levels of service. A lot of clubs have dramatically reduced food and beverage operations.”

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