EAST LONGMEADOW, MA (WGGB/WHSM) -- Anger and confusion after a popular golf driving range in East Longmeadow was ordered shut down and fined while others in western Mass continue to operate.
Fenway Golf was hit with a $300 fine over the holiday weekend.
Western Mass News spoke with the president of the business who said he thought he could open under the state's reopening plan.
The family-owned business is normally a hot spot for people enjoying the nice weather, but on Tuesday, the golf course and food stand were open and the driving range closed after the town issued a cease and desist order along with a fine for opening up the driving range on Friday.
“I did some research on some ranges that were opening in the state, and I read in the governor’s order that have similar businesses or organizations or facilities like ours are open essentially that you should feel free on a good faith to open, so I decided if other ranges are going to be able to open, I should be able to open, too,” Fenway Golf President Andrew Fisk said.
He said he thought he could open under phase one of the governor’s orders.
“I mean, I thought I could be open, but she said I couldn’t, so we closed down on Friday at 4 p.m. and we have been closed ever since,” he said.
Western Mass News checked in with Town Manager Mary McNally.
She said Fenway Golf was told three times they were not allowed to operate their driving range due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
That’s something Fisk said he wasn’t aware of.
“The town said that they’ve given me a warning,” he said. “I don’t know if the warning is a written warning or what it is, but I did not receive any written warning.”
In some other communities, driving ranges were allowed to open like the River Hollow Family Golf Center in Monson.
They posted on their Facebook page in appreciation for getting approval from the town to open.
In the meantime, Fisk said he is grateful for the outpouring of support from the community.
“In the community, I didn't really expect it. It has been unbelievable,” he said.
The East Longmeadow town manager said she will continue to look into this matter, but for now the driving range remains closed.