What to expect with golf courses set to open in Saskatchewan

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WATCH: With golf courses set to open to the public on Friday, there are certain limitations to be aware of. – May 12, 2020

Golf courses around Saskatchewan are about to get a whole lot busier beginning on Friday, as they are set to officially open up as part of the province’s five-phase reopening plan.

However, there will be limitations in place.

“There’ll be some changes but I think it’s going to look fairly normal, it’ll just be different,” said Brian Lee, Golf Saskatchewan’s executive director and CEO.

“It’ll just be like going to the grocery store. It seems a lot different now than when it did on March 13 or just before this whole thing started.”

In its purest form, golf won’t change as you still have to hit the ball from the tee to the cup.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Saskatchewan golf courses will have new rules when they open

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And while driving ranges and putting greens are permitted with proper physical distancing, you won’t be able to gather in the clubhouse or on the patio with your group before or after a round.

A maximum of four players per group is permitted, and if you wish to ride on a cart, it must be with someone from the same household. Plus, you must have a tee time, as no walk-ons are allowed.

You can still rent clubs or pull carts, but they must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each rental. If you’re hungry, food orders are limited to curb-side pickup or delivery. And members won’t have access to locker rooms, as golfers are encouraged to change shoes in the parking lot.

While you’re on the course, hitting the ball into the hole will be a bit different, as measures must be taken to prevent the ball from dropping into the hole, eliminating players the need to touch the pin or the cup.

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There also won’t be any rakes, benches or ball washers on the course, nor will there be a snack or drink cart. Washroom access will be limited to one person at a time in the clubhouse only.

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Plus, there will be fewer groups out there with you, as tee times will now be 12 minutes apart, which is a revision from the province’s initial re-open plan that had tee times 20 minutes apart.

“It doesn’t sound like much to a person who’s not a golf enthusiast, but from a golf course owner/operator standpoint, that’s increasing obviously 40 per cent more patrons onto a golf course, so again the potential revenue is greatly increased for them,” Lee said.

Despite the limitations in place, many courses are expecting to see plenty of action in the first few weeks, as many golfers are itching to get back into the swing of things.

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“They’re excited for sure. I foresee us being at full capacity,” said Brian Dueck, Royal Regina Golf Club general manager.

“You basically have 40 yards by 400 yards you can walk four people in and you don’t have to be side-by-side.”

And while some courses will have extra staff making sure people follow the guidelines set in place, many clubs are sending the new rules via email ahead of time, so the golfers know exactly what is and isn’t allowed.

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“We’ve had all our members sign a declaration of honour, making sure that they are alert to all the rules and regulations that are required by law,” said Greg Dukart, Wascana Country Cub CEO.

“We’re (also) putting signs everywhere to make sure people have discipline and adhere to the rules.”

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Golf courses will have new rules when they open in Saskatchewan' Coronavirus: Golf courses will have new rules when they open in Saskatchewan
Coronavirus: Golf courses will have new rules when they open in Saskatchewan – Apr 28, 2020

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