Physical distancing, staggered tee times and curbside pickup were all part of the new vernacular out on the golf course Saturday.
An easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario this weekend allowed golf courses to open for the season May 16, bringing members of the Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club out to hit the links - while taking precautions and adhering to new course rules - during a global pandemic.
“I’ve been looking forward to it since I heard they were going to open,” said Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club member Colton Smithers, speaking to SooToday after finishing up a round of golf with his father. “Me and my Dad got a tee time as soon as we could, and got out here. It was fun.”
Signs encouraging physical distancing greeted golfers as they entered the Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club grounds. All tee times were staggered to avoid congestion out on the course.
“There’s a bit of concern about people just not following the guidelines and stuff, but if people stick to the rules of social distancing and stay away from each other, no worries at all,” Smithers said.
A number of workplace safety guidelines for business sectors were released by the Ontario government earlier this month, which included a document containing a number of recommendations for golf courses during the COVID-19 crisis.
The recommendations include:
- limiting golf cart use to one cart per golfer
- avoiding contact with flag poles and cups
- removal or decommissioning of ball washers and water fountains
- providing hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and hand washing stations for golfers
Provincial golf sector guidelines and recommendations from Workplace Safety and Prevention Services can be found on the organization's website.