Ontario golfers, boaters seem to be complying with province’s new COVID-19 rules

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Golfers and boaters seem to comply with new Ontario COVID-19 rules
WATCH: Part of Ontario's first phase of reopening began over the weekend with golf courses and marinas. Aaron Streck has more. – May 19, 2020

Part of Ontario’s first phase of reopening began over the weekend with golf courses and marinas.

“Packed to the gills, every tee time was gone,” said Bob Perkins, owner of Oshawa Airport Golf Club.

Perkins has been running the Oshawa Airport Golf Club for 28 years, and he says this is by far the latest he’s opened.

“I was prepared to open on the 25th of March and they closed everything down the 24th,” said Perkins.

In keeping with physical distancing, tee times have been spread out, cups are upside down so nobody touches the flag or has to get their ball out of the holes, and no bunker rakes — the list goes on.

Besides a couple of bumps over the weekend, Perkins is impressed with how well it went.

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“People just wanted to get out and they were quite happy to deal with everything the way we had it set up, all the spacing and maintaining your physical distance, single carts, all that stuff,” said Perkins.

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One of those who couldn’t wait to finally get out to the links was Richard Smith, who says he averages about 120 rounds a season.

“Probably just the flags and coming into the club house, they wouldn’t allow more than two at a time,” said Smith.

How long will these new restrictions last? Perkins is prepared for it to be like this for most of the season and he feels it won’t change until the province relaxes all restaurant restrictions, too.

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“Fishing by Saturday is my goal,” said Scott Richardson with Scotty’s Sport Fishing.

Richardson was able to access his boat this weekend and get it in the water Tuesday.

“If everybody does their part and maintains physical distance, I think this should go off really well,” said Richardson.

While he’s not sure when he can start operating his charter, he says he can’t wait to start reeling them in.

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“A lot of guys got out on the weekend and from what I’m hearing, everything was great, everyone’s happy and there’s lots of fish out there to be caught,” said Richardson.

Alison Woollacott has been managing the Newcastle Marina for the past 25 years.

They were able to get a few boats in the water over the long weekend.

“If it’s not the high water levels on Lake Ontario, we’ve been hit with this virus,” said Woollacott.

Woollacott has more boats going in this week but she says many members have been apprehensive.

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“We have quite a few charters and some big commercial charters that are based out of Quebec, so I think a lot of my members that are here, their big question is are you going to have the charters? Because the charters means more guests,” said Woollacott.

Woollacott is expecting a quiet safe summer. While she’s hoping to make the best of it, she knows it will be tough, revenue-wise.

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