By Mark Smith
Editor in Chief
What looked like some bubbly good news for golfers who like suds with their swings quickly went as flat as a day-old draft beer.
On Friday afternoon, New Mexico golf courses were finally allowed to sell alcohol once again.
Sales have not been permitted since Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham reopened the courses on May 1, after being shutdown due to COVID-19.
But less than an hour after receiving the go-ahead from the state’s Alcohol and Beverages Control Department, a second email told N.M. courses stick the cork back in the bottle.
“This is a total s–t show,” one Northern New Mexico PGA pro told Enchantment Sports. “What sense does this make?”
A reasonable question, indeed.
Non-alcoholic beverages can be sold on the course and in the snack bars.
But not alcoholic.
Is purchasing a can of Coke safer than a can of Corona when it comes to getting the coronavirus?
“Absolutely ridiculous,” a Southern New Mexico pro said. “Look, we’re glad (Lujan Grisham) let us open. But seriously, there is no rhyme or reason to not permitting alcohol sales.”
Countless golfers and pros have contacted Enchantment Sports since the reopening, expressing their displeasure with Lujan Grishman’s policy prohibiting alcohol sales.
Friday’s fiasco isn’t going to help.
And might create even more confusion for those who only knew about the first email sent out Friday to give the go-ahead to sell, but hadn’t heard about the follow up.
“I didn’t know they rescinded it until you just told me,” Arroyo del Oso head pro Casey Coontz said late Friday night when contacted by Enchantment Sports. “We were planning on selling (Saturday).
“I was so busy (Friday) that I only saw the original email, and was scrambling to get everything ready to sell (Saturday) while doing everything else we are trying to do right now. Obviously, I would have seen the second email when I went in at 8 a.m., Saturday, and we wouldn’t be able to sell. But it’s disappointing.”
At 3:43 p.m. on Friday, Sun Country Golf House executive director Dana Lehner sent the following email to courses around the state, after getting word from Andrew Vallejos, the state’s director of ABC, that it would be OK to immediately start selling alcohol.
“Sun Country Golf members, professionals, partners, etc.,
A separate email from Albuquerque Parks and Recreation to the courses confirmed the go-ahead.
Less than an hour later, the courses were informed the decision had been reversed.
A latter email from Lehner read:
If you have information, questions or tidbits about New Mexico golf, feel free to contact us at mark.enchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com.