Summit County’s Environmental Health Director Tonia Burford had zero problem with any operational aspect of the ADGA Parke H. Thornton 2-Man Better Ball scheduled for Saturday at Turkeyfoot Lake Golf Links.

But because the word “tournament” described it, she forced a cancellation — allegedly after another golf course operator called to ask about it.

In a phone call to Burford, she readily admitted to Northeast Ohio Golf that the golf operations themselves were not of concern in her decision. The issue for her was that the recent renewal of Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton‘s Stay-at-Home order prohibits “recreational sports tournaments and sports leagues.”

When it was pointed out that the every part of the tournament portion was to be conducted virtually (all online, after the event), she responded that “it still gives the perception or impression that people might be gathering,” according to Burford. “I hear what you are saying, but we have to enforce the Governor’s order.”

So now closings aren’t made based on science, but perception.

The ADGA’s “virtual” golf tournament is absolutely no different from the “virtual” Cleveland Marathon, an event that is being widely promoted in many media outlets across the region.

Northeast Ohio Golf has already been in contact with multiple people in the Ohio Governor’s office, to obtain clarification for any golf events going forward under Acton’s recently extended order. Either way, we’ll bring you an answer in the days ahead.

But because of the threat of further legal action by the Summit County Health Department against Turkeyfoot, the ADGA event for Saturday is now cancelled.

Any player or group of players can still call the Turkeyfoot Golf Course pro shop at (330) 644-5971 or go online and secure one of the tee times that are now open.

Because the problem isn’t with playing golf this Saturday at Turkeyfoot.

The problem is semantics.


1 Comment

  1. May 4, 2020

    Insane, but typical of power hungry bureaucrats, they just have to take all the power they can without common sense. I guess if I have an online Chess Tournament I would be in trouble because it has the word tournament in it. Maybe we need to call them golf skills competitions, to avoid the word tournament.

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