Alberta golf courses seen as a non-essential service: “It could be devastating for the industry”

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With spring and warmer temperatures on us, this is usually the time when Albertans start to think about their game of golf. But in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, golf courses were seen as a non-essential service.

Alberta chief medical officer of health said on Thursday that she had a lot of questions about whether golf courses would be allowed to open given health measures in place to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw had a clear message for Albertans.

“Golf courses are a non-essential service,” she said. “The golf courses are not accessible to the public at this time. “

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She noted, however, that like other non-essential services, golf courses can have field workers to prepare the golf course and other things, if allowed to open later in the season.

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The news was hard to hear for the local courts.

“We really think we are a core business and a core business, so we were a little disappointed,” said Jamie Driscoll, course director at Trestle Creek Golf Course.

“We sort of hoped that there would be a little more consultation before some sort of random announcement.”



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After a bad season last summer due to weather conditions, Driscoll said not being able to open in the coming weeks could be bad for business.

“It would be devastating, frankly, if we couldn’t play golf this summer – both financially and mentally,” he said.

“This industry has 15,000 jobs that could suddenly be lost if we don’t open them in about three weeks. So it could be devastating for the industry. “

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Driscoll said the Professional Golfers Association of Canada, Alberta Golf, the National Golf Course Owners Association and the Alberta Golf Superintendents Association sent a dossier to the provincial government last week, with a list of measures they would take to ensure compliance with public health ordinances.

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He believes that golf is not only the ideal sport for physical distance, but also for people’s mental health.

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“There are no more than four people in the group, they are usually about 20 meters from each other and about 200 meters from the next four people. So there could not be a better position, “he said.

“Don’t forget the mental aspects of this whole pandemic. I think the mental pandemic could be worse than the physical pandemic if we don’t get our kids out of the golf course, get our adults out of the house, and give ourselves a lot of mental relief. ”

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Jae Maegaard, chief golf professional at Paradise Canyon Golf Resort in Lethbridge, said it was disappointing, but supports the health measures currently in place to protect the public.

“As a group here, we are really disappointed, with the amount of work that we have [and] the communication we had with other golf clubs in the area – in the province [and] out of the province, ”said Maegaard.

“We take it one day at a time,” said Maegaard. “We hope something can be reorganized after this weekend, maybe a few more guidelines that can help us all to make sure it’s safer to go down and play. “

Jordan Jeske is the owner of The Projct, an Edmonton gymnasium that also offers golf performance lessons and individual training sessions. With the physical distancing measures currently in place, all of these programs have ceased.

“We were taking this big step forward for the golf season,” said Jeske. “It all had to stop right away.

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“Now it’s like suddenly this complete stop and people are like,” What can we do now? “”










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Jeske has moved many online gym offerings. Although he had always thought of offering virtual golf courses and programs online, the COVID-19 pandemic forced him to do so much sooner than expected.

“This is a good program for people to learn more about themselves … and their possible limits, and now is the time to address these issues. People who used time as an excuse or did not have time for things, we now have this time given to us, “he said.

“I came here and I’m filming a ton of content and we have an app, so we put a lot of things in the video library. So I had to push it much faster than I expected.

“I hope we continue to see people wanting to jump on this hoping to be able to play this year at some point. “



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He also hopes they will be able to offer programming, while following the physical distance guidelines.

“When you are on the golf course, after the tee, you rarely walk together. Everyone is going to the ball and I think there are potentially ways to keep that going and keep a social distance and stay safe. ”

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In a televised speech earlier this week, Prime Minister Jason Kenney said current measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 would likely be in place until at least the end of May.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that much of Canada’s return to normal would depend on a vaccine that could be in months.

READ MORE:
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