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'Essential means essential': Golf courses remain open during SA stay-at-home order, frustrating other businesses owners

"It makes me furious," a restaurant owner said. "I mean, it's just not right. It is not an essential service."

SAN ANTONIO — A silent street isn't what Tim Mcdiarmid is used to. Instead, she often feeds off the laughter and energy that fill her restaurant, coincidentally called The Good Kind. But as you can imagine, things haven't been going so great.

"We've had every event canceled for the next three to four months," Mcdiarmid said. "All this takeout and all these pivots people are making are never going to actually cover the cost of running your business. So everyone is in a pretty desperate situation."

A situation she finds far more frustrating when she drives by the golf course.

"It makes me furious," she said.  "I mean, it's just not right. It is not an essential service."

Golf courses in San Antonio are still allowed to be open and in operation while a stay-at-home order remains in effect. On Wednesday, large groups covered the green at Brackenridge and other San Antonio courses.

"I am by no means saying restaurants should be open," Mcdiarmid said. "But I'm seeing a lot of things happening that I'm like, 'How is that different if a patio was open?'"

That prompted a question we brought to the city: Why, exactly, are golf courses exempt from this order?

The mayor's office has yet to get back to us but city officials said open golf courses need to practice social distancing if they're to stay open, something Gov. Greg Abbott also stressed when it comes to getting out of the house.

Alamo City Golf Trail President Andrew Peterson told KENS 5 over the phone they are practicing and stressing social distancing to their golfers and, effective Thursday, they’re no longer allowing guests into their clubhouse. It's a move meant to safeguard employees and patrons. 

As for those who don't believe golf should be an essential business, Peterson said it depends on how you view it. 

"For someone to get recreation while they’re still social distancing, being about to enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise, I think that golf is the absolute perfect outlet for that." 

As for Mcdiarmid, it's just not enough. She said she hopes city leaders take a closer look at what should be considered an essential business, and then enforce it.

"The rules are just too lax," she stressed.  "Essential means essential." 

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