By Matt Zahn

CHICAGO (CBS) — Golf is a big stress reliever for many, and courses in Illinois can reopen May 1 under strict safety guidelines.

That includes two players per group, no golf carts and all practice ranges, putting greens and clubhouses will be closed. However, most golfers are probably happy just to be playing.

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“As the weather gets warmer people want to do things outside, and they want to do safe activities,” said Robert Markionni, Chicago District Golf Association executive director. “So if somebody can walk nine holes on the golf course, you’re walking maybe two miles. If you go 18 holes, you’re walking three to four miles. So getting back to a routine that has a little bit of normalcy in it can also help from a psychological standpoint. So those two factors combined to us is another reason why it’s good that golf is opening.”

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Markionni says courses are relying on golfers to go along with government recommendations for social distancing while on the courses.

“That’s a key component,” he said. “Golf is just a different sport in that it is based on honesty and integrity. Even at the top level, the pro tours, the golfers call penalties on themselves. So with something like this, yes, the golf courses themselves be it public or private, the golfers themselves, one of our sincere hopes is that everybody looks at this from a positive aspect that golf is reopening. We know that people will want to do more than maybe they can at first, but self-policing in this case is very important, no doubt.”

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The cup will also be raised so players don’t have to touch the cup or the flagstick.