Golf carts OK for people over 55, San Diego County says; tennis could return soon

Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla has reopened with restrictions.
Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla has reopened with restrictions.

After several rounds of questions, authorities issued clarification about the use of golf carts on San Diego County courses newly reopened after a coronavirus-driven shutdown.

The quick answer: More people can use them now, but not everyone.

The Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday that golf carts can be used by people older than 55 and by people of any age who have disabilities that would prevent them from walking the course. Original guidelines had indicated that carts were not allowed.

People who qualify to use a cart may share it with a member of their household. Also, the carts should be disinfected between rounds and uses.

Sheriff’s officials said they issued the clarification after consultation with county Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten.

Golf courses in San Diego County, including Torrey Pines in La Jolla, were allowed to reopen May 1 with restrictions including the requirement that players stay at least six feet from one another.

Also, personal golf instruction is not allowed and all players must have a tee time. Online reservations are encouraged. A full list of restrictions is available at

Here are some site-specific regulations for Torrey Pines:

  • The driving range is open with appropriate social-distancing measures.
  • Practice putting greens and short-game areas are closed.
  • Beverage cart and to-go snack services are available.

Tennis is still not allowed in the county, but that could change soon.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that the state is ready to move into the second phase of its reopening plan by the end of this week.

Wooten said Tuesday that officials “will explore” including tennis in the plan the county must submit to the state for Stage 2.

“Counties and cities will have the capability to open up further if we meet or submit a plan and [it] would be approved by the state,” Wooten said. “Usually two people just playing [tennis], that seems reasonable, but at this point they are not included [among permitted activities] but we will explore including them in Stage 2.”

San Diego County has about 50 tennis clubs, according to

La Jolla Light staff writer Ashley Mackin-Solomon contributed to this report.