Golfers can still play through at Camas Meadows

Cedars on Salmon Creek also remains open; Tri-Mountain is closed



CAMAS — While the world is changing every day around us, some things stay the same.

You know, such as people hiding from their boss while playing a round of golf.

“Please don’t take any pictures of me. I’m supposed to be at work,” an anonymous man said Thursday afternoon at Camas Meadows Golf Course.

Jamie Stilwell sets up for her shot on the first tee at Camas Meadows Golf Course on Thursday. She said she needed to get out for some fresh air and was grateful that the course was open. Photo by Paul Valencia
Jamie Stilwell sets up for her shot on the first tee at Camas Meadows Golf Course on Thursday. She said she needed to get out for some fresh air and was grateful that the course was open. Photo by Paul Valencia

Others, however, had no issue talking about how grateful they were that the course remains open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Camas Meadows had a frost delay early Thursday but then tee times were booked all the way until late afternoon. The driving range is open, too. The Cedars on Salmon Creek in Brush Prairie also remains open. However, Tri-Mountain Golf Course in Ridgefield is closed. 

While no one knows how the immediate future will play out, golf enthusiasts in Clark County, for now, have a place to play. 

At Camas Meadows, golfers are asked to follow some guidelines.

“We need recreation in our community,” said Chris Garrison, the head professional and general manager of the course. “So many people are stuck and need to get out. We want to be able to provide that for people as safe as we possibly can.”

There are signs posted throughout the course reminding folks of social distancing. No gatherings of more than 10 people on the practice greens nor the first tee, for example. 

“Once they get on the golf course, they are 300 yards away from the next (group),” Garrison said. 

Signs are posted throughout the grounds at Camas Meadows Golf Course to remind players to be safe. Photo by Paul Valencia
Signs are posted throughout the grounds at Camas Meadows Golf Course to remind players to be safe. Photo by Paul Valencia

The course has removed all ball washers, as well as rakes in the sand traps. Camas Meadows is encouraging golfers to follow the USGA option of not removing the flagstick while putting. 

In other words, do not handle anything that does not need to be handled.

“Although we can’t guarantee someone’s safety 100 percent — there is still interaction with other people — we’re working on all of our social distancing,” Garrison said. 

The pro shop is open, but only four guests are allowed inside at the same time. 

All the steering wheels on the golf carts, the handles of pull carts, are cleaned regularly,

The driving range is open but customers are on the mats, only, because those are stations that are roughly 6 feet apart from one another.

“Folks need to take a look and see if they’re comfortable,” Garrison said. 

“Looking for family entertainment? The driving range is a great place to be,” he added.

Jamie Stilwell, 25, planned an outing with three of her friends Thursday. 

“Safer to be out in fresh air with them,” she said.

“I don’t want to be at home. I like the fresh air. It’s something different than watching TV. Gotta get exercise. All the gyms are closed. This seems like the smartest way to get out and moving. This is safer than being at the grocery store.”

The 18th green at Camas Meadows Golf Course would see a lot of action Thursday as tee times were booked all day. Photo by Paul Valencia
The 18th green at Camas Meadows Golf Course would see a lot of action Thursday as tee times were booked all day. Photo by Paul Valencia

Dino Zeppetella of Camas said it is important that the course remains open. Not just for the game.

“I know quite a few out here who are former military. For them, it’s a mental health break,” Zeppetella said. “You think golf is difficult, but it’s actually relaxing for people … to relieve their mind, anxiety.”

Garrison said he had a family thank him for remaining open. 

The driving range, he was told, was a great place for exercise and some relief. 

Garrison added, though, that golfers should call in advance or go online for tee times and other information. Things have a way of changing fast these days.

About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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