Five professional golf associations from across the province have come together to create the Saskatchewan Allied Associations to help golf courses enforce the safety measures they believe are necessary to restart the sport.
Brad Vinnick, general manager and chief golf professional at Greenbryre Golf and Country Club, said he thought golf courses would be one of the first recreational activities to work “because you can do a lot in a positive direction on social distancing and having it. be safe for everyone. ”
According to the Saskatchewan Allied Golf Association, the golf industry generates $ 446 million in gross domestic product in Saskatchewan and employs 17,000 people.
The organizations that are part of the Saskatchewan Allied Associations are the Canadian Society of Club Managers, Golf Saskatchewan, the National Golf Course Owners Association Canada, the PGA of Canada, the Saskatchewan Zone and the Saskatchewan Turfgrass Association.
Greens are empty for now
Golf courses across the province are starting preparations for the 2020 season, but the greens will be empty of golfers until the government gives the green light.
“Every spring we have things to do to start with and in many ways we do some of these things on the golf course, but obviously with COVID-19 we have closure orders from the health authorities,” said said Ron Erikson, general manager of the Willows Golf Club.
He said there will be strict safety guidelines once the sport restarts.
“The best way to say this is to look at each point of contact from the parking lot to the parking lot through the facility,” said Erikson.
Measures could include cleaning all possible touch points, washing balls with flag sticks, taking credit or debit cards only, spacing of tee times and limiting a person to one cart.
In Saskatoon, golf courses would have scheduled a later start date this season due to late April snow. If they could open, Vinnick said the date would have been towards the end of the month.
At the Greenbryre Golf and Country Club, work continues to prepare the greens, but this is done with a reduced staff, and the Greenbryre restaurant has been completely closed.
“I hope we can bring the economy back to normal in life and that people can enjoy summer in Saskatchewan. “