The owners of Bungay Brook Golf Club in Bellingham display an ever-evolving display in front of their closed course.
Three flags represent togetherness during the pandemic, but now a new message to Gov. Charlie Baker:
“I think the governor needs to go on a golf course and see what it’s all about,” said Emile Gareau, one of the co-owners of Bungay Brook.
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The owners of the family-owned business are calling on Baker to open golf courses in the state.
“We have six months to make a living, and we just lost two of them,” Gareau said.
Therese Barry, another co-owner of Bungay Brook, said golfers are going over state lines.
“We’re one of four states that is closed for golf, and I believe New Hampshire will go open on May 11," Barry said.
Baker has mandated golf and other non-essential businesses stay closed through May 18. It’s unknown if he’ll extend that timeline.
“We are outraged because we really do not understand how the other states can operate safely with those measures and Charlie Baker believes we cannot,” Barry said.
And on a beautiful day like Sunday, this family says they would normally see about 250 people. They say their vast property separates people naturally.
“When you spread that out over many, many hours, each player would probably have about two acres to themselves,” Barry said. "This is social distancing at its best.”
The family has also designed a touch-less golf experience, one person per cart if they're not in the same family, no rakes in the bunkers, and no touching of flags, among other precautions.
The farm property has been in their family for 73 years, passed on by the parents to eight children who inherited it. Now those children— the owners—worry it may all be gone.
“We had cows, we had horses, we had pigs, goats, chickens, we were raised farmers and we weren’t raised with any money but we were raised with more love than you could ever believe and our parents left us this beautiful piece of property and we stand to lose it now,” Barry said.
Last week, Baker said re-openings like this will be left to the state's reopening advisory board.