Monday was a nice day to be out on the golf course, but not in Ontario.
The province has closed golf courses during the latest lockdown and that has many golfers teed off, wondering why the seasonal outdoor activity poses a threat of COVID-19.
The Colonnade Golf and Country Club in Joyceville is one of those courses that is following the shutdown protocol. Tana Gordanier, general manager and co-owner, says there’s been no driving, chipping or putting since April 17, and even then it was only for the one day. Needless to say she’s more than frustrated about it.
“Oh, you don’t want to know what I would ordinarily say … but being we’re on air … it’s like suck it up and deal with it,” Gordanier said.
And just because there are no golfers on the course doesn’t mean things are idle. A full staff continues to work, waiting for a chance to reopen. A number of groups are lobbying the Ontario government in hopes of teeing-off again, including the organization We Are Golf.
According to We Are Golf, Ontario is the only jurisdiction in North America where golf is not allowed. In a letter to the premier, the coalition of golf’s leading organizations says:
“Golf is safe. We have been saying that all along in our regular communications to you and your team. There continues to be more and more overwhelming evidence from the medical community that outdoor activities — including golf, conducted with proper protocols, are not only very safe, but also critically important right now for the physical and mental well-being of Ontarians.”
Gordanier agrees, citing last year in saying that it all comes down to numbers.
“All of Canada, there was not one case of COVID caused by golfing. It lets everyone out get have fresh air. Social distancing is easy because obviously you’re not going to be standing that close to everybody when you’re swinging unless you want to get hit,” she said.
“People know each other, they know who has the COVID shot, who they feel comfortable with, so it’s an easy way to stay safe.”
In a late afternoon release to Global News, senior communications adviser and press secretary to the Hon. Lisa Macleod Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Dakota Brasier, says, “Ontario, like many other provinces and jurisdictions around the world, is battling a third wave of more contagious variants and we are taking the necessary action required to turn the tide.
“The public health measures we’ve introduced are designed to reduce mobility and limit the risk of transmission in order to stabilize and protect our health care system. We are currently in a stay at home order and people should be staying home as much as possible.