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Coronavirus: Doug Ford says he’s facing pressure to open Ontario’s golf courses

The Royal Woodbine golf course near Pearson International Airport in Toronto on July 8, 2015.
The Royal Woodbine golf course near Pearson International Airport in Toronto on July 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lee Brown

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he’s getting lobbied hard to allow golf courses to open, but says the decision will ultimately be based on advice from the province’s medical officials.

“I have a lot of friends that are golfers and they’re lobbying hard for this,” Ford said.

“I’m going to give you all the reasons I’m getting lobbied: they told me they won’t take carts, they’ll walk; they have this new little mechanism that you don’t have to touch the flag when you hit the hole, the ball will pop out; and they’ll be apart from each other.

“[Those are] their lobbying points. And I bring it back to our chief medical officer.”
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READ MORE: Golf course near London Ont., preparing to reopen, taking precautions amid coronavirus pandemic

On May 1, the provincial government said that as of May 4, golf courses could begin to prepare for the upcoming season, but not open to the public.

Ford said that safety is the top priority and any plans to open would be based off of advice from his medical team.

“I understand if they don’t take the carts and they separate. You know, they have a pretty good case there. But I’ll bring that back to the team and again safety is [the] number one concern,” Ford said.

“I understand people want to get out there and get a little bit of fresh air.”

READ MORE: Ontario eases restrictions, allowing sports training facilities to open

Ford said he will also be looking at the possibility of allowing for tennis.

Ford’s remarks came on the same day the Ontario government eased restrictions so that professional sports teams could access their training facilities as long as safety protocols are in place.

The Toronto Raptors announced players will be allowed to access the OVO Athetic Centre for limited training beginning next week.

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