Great news! Golf re-opens in Ontario

A Message from Golf Ontario

It has been a long and frustrating few weeks for everyone involved. Thank you to everyone for your patience as we have dealt with the restrictions in the Stay-At-Home order. As you know, Golf Ontario and Ontario’s We Are Golf partners, along with everyone in the industry, have been working very hard to reopen golf courses. A ton of work has been done by everyone, and our clear and consistent messaging, along with significant pressure in social media has helped ensure our message was clear that golf needed to be open.
In case you have not heard, golf courses and driving ranges in Ontario are permitted to open on Saturday, May 22 at 12:01 am.

Protocols You MUST Adhere to Upon Reopening:

Now, more than ever, golf course operators AND GOLFERS must adhere to COVID-19 best practices and protocols. We have been very clear on our Golf Is Safe messaging, and we need to ensure golf continues to be the gold standard in providing a safe experience for our golfers and staff members. Please don’t be that type of ‘buddy’.

The protocols that will be in place will be very similar to the protocols from 2020 with one change that was in place in earlier 2021 when courses were open. The guidance is that 2 persons riding in the same cart shall wear a mask when in the cart. The alternative is single rider carts, although please know though that this is not always a feasible option at many courses.

 

The ask to you as golfers:

As mentioned, it is imperative we all do this right, particularly now as golf will be open during the stay-at-home order. Protocols are likely to evolve, so please take your direction from the facility. Each public health unit may have slightly different guidelines, so the protocols may vary course by course.

A couple of other things to note for you, the golfer …

  • Obey ALL protocols. Our courses have been closed for too long, and it is imperative we remain diligent with our protocols to avoid fines or closures.
  • Before and after rounds. Do not carpool to courses during the remaining stay-at-home order, and do not stay in the parking lot after for any gathering until regulations begin to allow this.
  • Be respectful at all times to staff. Please understand these changes are happening in real time, and the staff are doing their best to meet protocols while providing a great golfing experience. Please be mindful of this and be kind.
  • Course condition. Again, these closures have been extremely stressful on courses. While many may be in great shape, not all courses will be. Many courses will not have been able to have a full roster of maintenance staff and were able to do only basic maintenance. Again, be mindful and kind
  • Physical Distancing. Continue to follow health guidance and avoid close contact. Wear a mask if you cannot stay at least 2 metres apart

 

Golf finally being allowed to open is great news for Ontarians. We believe golf should never have closed and we recognize that this lengthy shutdown has created challenges for many. We do believe, though, that demand will be stronger than ever, and we hope golf can play a key role in helping kickstart the economic recovery in Ontario. It is very important that we get this right!

 

Final note … These continue to be tough times for everyone. While we are happy that golf courses will be open in Ontario, there continue to be many businesses and Ontarians very negatively impacted and we need to be mindful of this. We ask that in any external communications (social media, etc.) you are aware of your messaging and ensure you are being thankful that golf will be able to provide a SAFE outlet for the physical and mental well-being of Ontarians. We don’t want to be too celebratory in our tone in light of the challenges other businesses are facing. We need to put our heads down, and humbly focus on allowing everyone to enjoy playing golf again.

 

Thank you, 

Golf Ontario

 

Fairways Magazine

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