Golf courses are on Doug Ford’s shortlist for COVID-19 reopenings. Here’s what it will look like

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The golf courses have received the green light from the province to start preparing for the new season on Friday.

Premier Ontario Doug Ford Announced A Small List Of Businesses, Several Of Which Are Seasonal, To Be Allowed To Open On Monday According To Strict Guidelines, And Said Golf Courses And Marinas Could Open More late, although no date has been specified.

The announcement follows the lifting of restrictions in other provinces. New Brunswick golf courses were allowed to open earlier this week alongside parks and beaches. Manitoba announced Wednesday that golf courses and tennis courts will slowly begin to reopen on Monday. And Saskatchewan golfers will be able to return to the links on May 15.

Golf lends itself very well to physical distance, said Chris Humeniuk, president of TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley in Caledon, who has a list of changes to make at the club. Among them: compulsory online reservations and prepayment of tours; and less start times, at 15 minute intervals instead of 10; and the use of Pin Caddys, which allow players to remove their balls from the hole without touching the ball or the flag.

Social time on the course will be limited, golfers are asked to leave once they have finished playing. And the club maps staff and customer flows for potential touchpoints. The “greatest risk,” said Humeniuk, is for employees, not customers.

Changes will not be limited to TPC Toronto. “It’s not just a question of everyone working on their own operating plan,” said Humeniuk. “There is a lot of communication and collaboration in our industry. People share a lot of ideas and innovation to help us open up safely when the time comes. “

There is a similar philosophy in local tennis clubs, said Kathryn Laidlaw, president of the Wychwood Tennis Club. One of the biggest changes could be the cancellation of the duplicate game. Singles players will have their own box of balls that they can touch, and their opponent’s balls will be visibly different. Staff will monitor all games from a safe distance to ensure players are following safety protocols. And the courts, which are generally open from spring to October, will be closed at night.

Laidlaw and members of Tennis Toronto hope to work with the city, which issues community club permits, for a safe return to play.

Athletes who prefer other sports to golf and tennis can wait longer.

Rob Davies, president of the Toronto Sport and Social Club, believes that recreational team sports are on hold. The club has approximately 100,000 members and covers a wide range of sports, both indoors and outdoors. A return for part of the summer season is “super optimistic,” but Davies said planning outdoor games would be easier than playing in a gym.

“We try to keep hope, but we plan, or at least explore, what some of the worst-case scenarios will look like,” said Davies. “If you said to me, ‘Absolutely nothing will happen before September 1’, it would be almost easier, in a way, than hoping every day. For us, it’s the uncertainty that really kills. “

Davies knows the physical distance and the safety of equipment and venues will have to be part of the club’s new plan of action.

“Even if the threat of the virus no longer exists, it will continue to exist in the minds of people,” he said. “Even psychologically, people are going to need to know and see that action is taken.”

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The club will take over from major health organizations, as well as from countries that are back in the game before Canada.

“It is good to know that some countries are ahead of the curve,” said Davies. “It certainly serves as a good example to see what is working, what has not worked, what makes sense. “

Laura Armstrong

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