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Golf season set to swing into action in Manitoba Monday

Winnipegger Charlie Boyechko tees off on the first hole at Pine Ridge Golf Club during the opening round of the Mackenzie Tour - PGA Tour of Canada's Players Cup. Mitch Rosset / Global News

There was great news for the Manitoba golf industry on Wednesday when Premier Brian Pallister announced that golf courses would be among the business groups that would be allowed to open Monday on May 4.

READ MORE: Manitoba playgrounds, rec facilities and campgrounds reopening Monday

Naturally, there will be coronavirus-related restrictions in place, but Golf Manitoba Executive Director Jared Ladobruk says the timing could not have been better. “It’s safe to say, that this being a seasonal industry, any longer of a delay would hurt golf facilities, no doubt,” Ladobruk said during an interview with 680 CJOB’s Geoff Currier.

“They have a limited span to conduct their year of business, so pushing that back and contracting it any more than it needs to be, it hurts the industry.”

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And according to Ladobruk, the Manitoba Golf industry employs 16 thousand plus and contributes more than 600 million dollars annually to the Provincial economy.  But golfers are going to have to be prepared for “the new normal.” At least initially.

READ MORE: Golf Canada asks players to stay home amid coronavirus pandemic

Ladobruk says there are still some details to sort out from the guidelines forwarded by the provincial government, such as reserving tee times. “From what I’m reading, clients booking tee times over the phone are to be screened (to be determined if they have COVID-19 symptoms).”

Ladobruk also says maintaining a flow of entry into the pro shop, to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people at a time, will also have to be adhered to during this early phase, “just to ensure that people are keeping that distance.”

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There will be additional modifications for private courses who offer members services such as locker rooms, showers, and club storage. But Ladobruk is confident that necessary “adjustments” will be made.

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“At this point, there has been some lead time, and golf is not happening until next week. There has really been an opportunity for facilities to model what’s been happening all over North America with respect to golf specifically,” said Ladobruk. “And most, I’m sure, have taken the initiative to make sure they are prepared to adapt to these guidelines.”

READ MORE: Golf Manitoba Honours Southwood Clubmates as the top players of 2019

To that point, below is a lengthy, but also very important list of protocols that Glendale Golf and Country Club James Chapman sent out to his membership on Wednesday night. Almost every circumstance is covered, and it very well might be the template that other courses are also adopting, or will for those scenarios that apply specifically to their operation. Chapman gave his permission for this information to be shared; it should be noted that the protocols listed below are for Glendale members.

Booking Tee Times

  • Tee times will be separated by 10-minute intervals.
  • Booking can be done online through glendalegolf.ca.
  • Tee times can also be booked by calling 204-837-8383.
  • Walk-on tee times will not be available until further notice; you must have a pre-booked tee time in order to play golf at Glendale.
  • Clients are screened by telephone or upon arrival to the club and are prevented from booking or playing if they have COVID-19 symptoms.

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Parking Lot

  • Members and guests are encouraged to stop at the designated bag drop area prior to parking and will be welcomed by our staff using physical distancing measures – 2 meters from Glendale staff members at all times.
    • The staff member will offer you a sanitized pull cart as you exit your vehicle. You may use your own pull cart, if preferred.
    • You will be allowed to leave your car no more than 30 minutes prior to your pre-booked tee time.

Check-In at the Golf Shop

  • All members and guests must check-in at the Golf Shop window to ensure physical distancing.
  • A limited number of individuals (in addition to employees) will be allowed into the Golf Shop at any one time for merchandise purchases or credit/debit card payments.
  • Golf Professional Staff will be available outside of the Golf Shop to help with any questions or need for guidance.
    • The Golf Professional Staff will also be able to locate any merchandise you might need from inside the Golf Shop.
    • Payments can be made using Member Accounts, debit, and credit cards only.
      • Signatures will not be required for charges to Member Accounts, we will require first and last name along with a verified account number.
      • The credit/debit card terminal will be sanitized between customers.
      • Cash will not be accepted at this time.
    • The bathrooms attached to the Golf Shop will be cleaned and sanitized throughout the day.
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Driving Range and Short Game Area

  • You will only have access to the driving range and short game area during the 30 minutes prior to your pre-booked tee time.
  • Due to physical distancing measures, there will only be 8 hitting stations available for use and all hitting will be from mats.
  • Please use only the range balls that are in the tray by your mat.
    • Hitting stations will be refilled with clean balls by a staff member, as needed.
    • After the balls have been collected from the range, we will wash them thoroughly with soap and water.
    • We have new upgraded Callaway range balls for 2020.
  • We encourage all members and guests to use the hand sanitizer available by the driving range and short game area, once finished warming up and prior to teeing off.

Power Carts

The use of power carts will be permitted with the following restrictions:

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  • Members and guests may share a power cart only if they live in the same household.
  • All other members and guests will be required to take individual power carts:
    • We have rented additional power carts to start the season.
    • Power carts will be charged for individual use only, not for full power cart.
    • Power carts will be washed, cleaned, and sanitized after every use.

Golf Shop Back Shop

  • The Back Shop will be closed at the start of the season.
    • The Back Shop will be used as a sanitation area for pull carts and other equipment.
    • Any clubs currently in Back Shop must be picked up by May 4.
  • All members will be required to take their clubs with them each time that they leave the property.

 Tee Off

  • You will only be permitted to tee off at your pre-booked tee time.
  • We will not be joining up groups from the Golf Shop.
    • All groups must be arranged prior to arrival at Glendale.
  • Towels, scorecards and pencils will not be available at this time.
  • Please ask the outside Professional Staff for any merchandise that you might need to start your round; they are there to help you and ensure a great experience.
    • Our Golf Shop is fully stocked with the latest golf equipment, golf balls, hats, gloves, and clothing.
  • We require physical distancing (a minimum of 2 meters) among the members of your group at all times.

On the Golf Course

  • While on the golf course, you must practice physical distancing at all times, including among the members of your group.
  • To minimize the chances of spreading the coronavirus, we have removed ball washers, bunker rakes, and water coolers.
  • Flagsticks must stay in the cups and not be touched.
  • All holes will include inserts to make the cups shallower for easy retrieval of golf balls without touching the cup. We encourage “gimmes” from within 5 feet.
  • If you get a poor lie in a bunker, we encourage you to pick up your ball, use your feet to smooth the sand and then replace the ball in its original location.
  • The bathrooms on the course will be cleaned and sanitized 4 times per day.
  • There will be hand sanitizer available near the 1st tee, 9th green, and 18th

After Completing Your Round

Once you have completed your round:

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  • Please go directly to your vehicle.
  • Leave your pull cart by the Back Shop in the parking lot.
    • Our staff will collect and sanitize it for the next player.
  • Drive-up take-out food service will be available, and we encourage all members to take advantage of our take-home food options.
  • The patio will have limited availability starting May 8, information coming soon.
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Clubhouse

To begin the season, the clubhouse will be closed except for the offices and main floor bathrooms:

  • The closed areas include the banquet rooms, restaurant, lounge and locker rooms.
    • If you require items from your locker, please contact Rob Olson at robolson@glendalegolf.ca or 204-832-1306 to let you into the locker room or to retrieve your items for pick up.
  • The offices will only be open for member services, payments, and event and catering bookings.
    • However, in the interest of safety, we encourage you to conduct this business by phone or email whenever possible.
    • A limited number of individuals (in addition to employees) will be allowed into the clubhouse at any given time.
  • Bathrooms will be cleaned throughout the day with our new sanitation process.
  • When in the clubhouse, physical distancing (a minimum of 2 meters) will be required at all times.

Food and Beverage

  • The Kiosk will be open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., weather permitting.
    • Glendale will offer take-out food and beverage options directly from the Kiosk.
    • While at the Kiosk, we require physical distancing (a minimum of 2 meters) at all times.
  • There will also be a direct phone number for on-course deliveries and take-home options.
  • The patio will have limited availability starting May 8, information coming soon.
  • For take-home items, park in front of the clubhouse once you have completed your round and your take-home order will be delivered to your car.
  • Menus for all kiosk and take home items will be available at glendalegolf.ca and posted on the golf course.
    • These will likely include sandwiches, burgers, hotdogs, breakfast wraps, lunch items, salads, dinner options, family style meals, as well as ‘take-home and cook’ family meal baskets.

Ladobruk agrees with the notion that golf lends itself to the social distancing requirements that will continue to be in place for the foreseeable future. But there are some traditions that will have to be considered “out of bounds” for the time being, such as “congregating for a bite to eat, or sitting down to enjoy the end of a round.” However, he says “at the very least, the spirit of the game, we can get out there and play and enjoy the game.”

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