Despite heavy dew and saturated areas from recent rains, Northport Golf Club members took advantage of the ability to get back on the course with their first Sunday morning round of the season.

At first glance May 3, it was a typical spring morning on the tees and greens — friends gathering to enjoy golf and camaraderie. To get one's daily exercise by walking the course — sort of a hike in nature, only with clubs (sticks) and dimpled balls.

But, in these strange, uncertain times of COVID-19 (coronavirus), as well as state guidelines and restrictions due to the pandemic, everything, including playing a round of golf, is atypical

Like all Maine golf clubs, NGC also practices social distancing and has done its part to keep golfers and club employees safe since Governor Janet Mills allowed courses to reopen on Friday, May 1.

At Northport, the putting greens and driving range are closed, as is the clubhouse. At this point, the club allows only members to play, but hopes, at some point this summer, to also allow the general public to again play the course.

On this Sunday morning, however, it was simply club members enjoying fun, exercise and companionship on the course — doing their best to stay six feet apart. There were no usual handshakes or slaps on the back.

It was a normal Sunday morning on the course in many respects and, of course, abnormal in others. It was, at this point, the new normal for these golfers.

Northport, which opened in 1916, is a nine-hole, par-36 layout which features alternate teeing grounds for a full 18 holes.

The course will play by the mantra mandated at all Maine courses, essentially, for golfers to show up for a predetermined tee time, park their vehicle, play, then immediately leave the course.

The historic pre- and post-golf social time has been abandon — for now.

At this point, the club restrictions are:

• Walking is encouraged. Carts will be available for single-rider, two-bag option.

• Cart fees may be prepaid by calling the pro shop at 207-338-2270. Availability will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

• Tee times are required and scheduled at 12-minute intervals.

• Arrive and check-in at the course no earlier than 15 minutes before your tee time.

• The clubhouse, pro shop and restrooms are closed. Please plan accordingly.

• No food or water will be available. Please bring your own supply.

• Maximum four players on a tee or green. No exceptions.

• Do not touch or remove the flag. Use a putter to retrieve the ball from the hole.

• Preferred lies in bunkers. All other local rules remain in effect.

• Please maintain a minimum safe distance of six feet at all times.

• When you have completed your round, please leave the property.

For more information on the NGC, call 207-338-2270 or go to the club's website. A printable scorecard for use during the COVID-19 emergency may be downloaded here.