After being closed all of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, SentryWorld plans to reopen in 2021.

One of Wisconsin’s most prominent golf courses is passing on 2020.

SentryWorld in Stevens Point, which had previously planned not to open its much heralded golf course until Sept. 8, has now indicated it will remain closed for the rest of the year.

The move is unusual in a summer when many golf courses are enjoying an increase in play as golfers seek a safe outlet for recreation during the pandemic. But in a statement posted on the SentryWorld website Thursday, general manager Mike James said the unpredictable and fluid circumstances around COVID-19 forced the “difficult decision to extend the closure of all SentryWorld properties through at least the end of the year.

“As I’ve indicated since we first closed back in March, SentryWorld, being a destination course, draws people from all over the country – including areas highly affected by coronavirus. Being a good corporate citizen, we want to do our part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

A message on the pro shop telephone said plans now are to reopen the pro shop in early 2021 and the golf course later in the spring.

The closure includes SentryWorld restaurants, theater, golf course and other event space. Earlier this summer, several tournaments and events that had been scheduled for the golf course were shifted to the Stevens Point Country Club, which also honored some group reservations that had been scheduled for SentryWorld.

Carolyn Schamberger of SentryWorld’s corporate communications office, acknowledged the decision was difficult. She said the company had been “watching and monitoring other hospitality venues that have reopened in the state. But a solution that works for one is not a solution that works for all. We have decided to take a different, more conservative approach.

“We appreciate not everyone will agree with this decision but hope folks will understand that we feel an incredible responsibility to do our part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. And, for us, the best way to do this is to keep our operations closed for the time being.”

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Sentryworld, which is owned by Stevens Point-based Sentry Insurance, opened to much acclaim in 1982 as Wisconsin’s first destination golf course, perhaps best known for its colorful “Flower Hole” par 3. The course underwent a complete renovation beginning in 2013 and reopened in 2015. It is ranked No. 44 on Golf Digest's list of America's 100 Greatest Public Courses

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