Area golf courses set to tee-off season this weekend

In time for the May long weekend, the Ontario government has relaxed some COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, allowing golf courses to partially open, effective May 16.

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The Ford government announcement of so-called stage one openings can be read in its entirety here.

Specific to the province’s golf courses, the document stipulates, “Golf courses and outdoor golf driving ranges are open to the public [as of May 16]. Any clubhouse or recreational amenity (pools, fitness centres, etc.) must remain closed except for washrooms and first aid facilities. Restaurants on the premises may provide food by take out or delivery.”

Alexandria’s Glengarry Golf and Country Club will be one of the local facilities opening Saturday.

In an announcement posted online, the club outlined its operational adjustments in light of ongoing pandemic concerns, with the aim of ensuring “the safety of our customers and our employees. Your support and co-operation are appreciated as we all fight together against COVID-19.”

The GG&CC’s 2020 COVID-19 practices include…

  • Stringent enforcement of social distancing at all times.
  • Tee times to be booked online through the website or by calling the pro shop (613-525-2912). No walk-on golfers.
  • Tee time spacing extended to 12 minutes.
  • Golfers are encouraged to arrive at the course about 15 minutes prior to the pre-booked tee time.
  • The driving range and putting greens will be closed.
  • Debit and credit transactions only. No cash payments.
  • Products for sale (balls, tees, gloves) will be display-only. Purchasers will make their request to pro shop staff who will bring purchased items to the counter.
  • Maximum of four people per group.
  • One person per cart unless in the same household; then a cart can be shared.
  • All carts will be sanitized prior to the next use.
  • Walking is encouraged whenever possible.
  • Rental and personal pushcarts only.
  • No golf club rentals will be available.
  • No storage of clubs, carts, or clothing until further notice.
  • No rakes, ball washers, garbage cans, divot repair boxes, and benches will be on the course.
  • Flagsticks are not to be removed. Noodle pieces will be placed in pin cups to allow safe retrieval of balls at the pin.
  • There will be no washrooms available on the course, in the clubhouse, or at the pro shop.
  • Only the outer clubhouse washrooms will be open, Facilities will be regularly cleaned.
  • Coffee, canned beverages, and snacks will be available at the pro shop counter.
  • Golfers will not be permitted to engage in pre- and post-game gatherings.

“I think I can speak for every golfer when I say I have been very eager to get back out on the course. It’s a great way to get out of the house but still be able to maintain safe social distancing for everybody, so I think this is a great move by the government! People will love to get some physical activity this long weekend.”

Ben Lowe

The golf club adds, “We believe our course is in great shape, and [we] look forward to seeing many of our golfing friends again over the upcoming days.”

Summerheights Golf Links will also open to golfers on Saturday. Staff began taking tee times today online and by phone with demand so great at one point that the computer system crashed.

Many of the same rules will be enforced at Summerheights as well. Here are their informational posters. (Click for full-size versions.)

Bookings and further information: 613-938-8009 or summerheightsgolf.com

At the Heritage Golf Club in Lancaster, physical distancing rules and other safety measures will also be in place. The facility’s updated play policy can be viewed here. Tee times must be pre-booked by calling the club at 613-347-3738.

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