Saanich golf course pleading for public to stay off closed grounds

Saanich golf course pleading for public to stay off closed grounds
WatchA golf course in Saanich is pleading for the public to stay off their property. The Cedar Hill Golf Course owned by Saanich was closed due to COVID-19. Everyday dozens of unwelcome guests are walking closed trails and even right down the fairway, sending staff scrambling. Julian Kolsut has this story.

The Cedar Hill Golf Course in Saanich is pleading with the public to stay off their closed course.

The facility is owned by the municipality and was closed due to COVID-19 concerns.

“I’ll find between 20-60 people, whether they are walking, cycling, golfing, playing lacrosse, playing baseball, I’ve seen it all in the last two weeks,” said course superintendent Ian Smith.

“I can’t believe they are out here in proximity to each other so closely.”

The battle to keep people off the property has become a new routine for Smith and his staff. They spend much of their day chasing down trespassers.

Part of the problem may be that the walking trail that surrounds the course is still open.

Signs are posted but many people are going off the trail and onto the course.

Some of those on the trails wander onto the greens.

“We see this all the time out here, people with their dogs, people walking together [on the green],” said Smith.

But some say they’re detouring to maintain social distancing.

“There is a bit of an issue, because of the runners and joggers and there is only so much space. We keep to the cart paths and avoid the fairways,” said one man walking on the course trails.

Whether its to maintain social distance or not, walking on the course green can cause damage that’s expensive to fix.

A quick walk on the green can have some pretty long term ramifications. A piece of grass ripped out around the size of a hand it can take up to six months to grow back.

Each job costs hundreds of dollars.

“We’ve come too far in the last few years and made this golf course one of the better in Victoria,” said course mechanic Ethan Douglass.

“Any long term damage when we do open will be something we do have to catch up on.”

Smith says he wants people to be able to go for a walk, he just wants them to stay on the proper path.

“People need to get outside. I get it, we just ask please try to socially distance yourself and if you can stay off the golf course that would be helpful for everybody,” he added.

Courses across the region echo that just because their courses are closed for tee-off, doesn’t mean the fairway is open.

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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