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BOB WEST ON GOLF — 5 Under on rebound from COVID-19 setback

Following a shutdown mandated by an employee testing positive for COVID-19 last Sunday, 5 Under Golf Center in Beaumont is undergoing an EPA-approved decontamination cleaning process that should lead to the facility being re-opened in the next 10 to 14 days.

“I can’t give you an exact date, but I would anticipate sooner rather than later,” 5 Under president Austin Williams said. “We are going through all the protocols that will guarantee a safe atmosphere for our guests to come and have a good time,”

The shutdown was a setback to Williams, who has invested heavily in a major upgrade from the old Games People Play.

In stages, 5 Under has added indoor Topgolf Swing Suites, virtual game simulations, a restaurant, an improved retail center and outdoor upper level and lower level swing bays powered by Toptracer range technology.

5 Under is now widely recognized as a state-of-the art venue.

“It’s a temporary setback,” Williams said. “We are not the only business faced with roadblocks presented by COVID-19. There are going to be a lot of challenges for small business owners going forward. We can and will adapt.”

What Williams wanted to stress is that there will be no shortcuts taken to get 5 Under up and running — that, and the fact that when the doors open again every possible step will have been taken to create a safe environment for establishment patrons.

“All employees will be tested on a regular basis, they will wear masks and those who handle food will wear gloves,” he said. “Our guests will also be required to wear masks. All common areas and all clubs will be cleaned before and after people play. There will be disinfectant and sanitizers on every table.

“We will strictly follow CDC guidelines. The plan is also to take temperatures of people before they come in to eat or hit balls. Our hitting bays are spaced for social distancing. We will be well prepared.”

Williams also wanted anyone who had an event postponed because of the shutdown to know an event coordinator will be in contact to reschedule.