Some golf courses reopening following COVID-19 shutdowns

Some golf courses reopening following COVID-19 shutdowns
Watchith no rules prohibiting their closure, a number of golf courses are reopening, despite COVID-19, with numerous safety measures.

Golfers on Vancouver Island may have reason to celebrate. After closing in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many golf courses have reopened or plan to reopen soon and they are taking precautions to keep players safe.

At Pheasant Glen Golf Course in Qualicum Beach members are glad to be back out on the links.

“I really appreciate that the golf course has organized it so that we can get out here and play be out in the air,” said Heather Walterson, a golfer.

The course was closed at the beginning of the pandemic but it reopened last week with a dozen new rules, including spaced out tee times and lifted cups so people don’t touch flags. The new rules are to ensure players stay safe on the course.

“We’ve covered up all the ball washer stations so you literally take your golf ball. You tee it up on hole number one. You touch it for 18 holes. You pick it up. Put it in your pocket. Hopefully, it’s the same one you started with and then you take it home for the next time,” said Gord Melissa, Pheasant Glen Golf Resort‘s General Manager.

Some golf courses never shut down. The Arrowsmith Golf Course has remained open throughout the pandemic, though it’s been increasing restrictions as provincial orders have been passed down.

“We’ve been doing everything we’ve been told to do,” said Patrick Jiggins, Arrowsmith Golf & Country Club‘s General Manager and CEO.

“We’re not an essential service but not essential services are allowed to stay open as long as they follow the cleaning procedures and physical distancing.”

But other courses, like Fairwinds in Nanoose Bay, are closed. The course’s website says

“This is not only the best decision for our Fairwinds Golf Club community, as we will also be doing our part in helping to slow the progress of this virus in BC and Canada.”

When asked about golfing last week provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said “if you are with your household members only, and you have that distance between anybody else, then it can work. I also think it is a time where we need to start thinking about let’s just stay close to home.”

But not everyone is worried about playing.

“It’s like having your own golf course cause you’re spread out,” said Ron Gough, a golfer.

“There’s nobody chasing you. You’re not waiting on any hole. It’s wonderful.”

Those getting back on the greens say they feel safe with the new protocols as they regain a slice of their life before COVID-19.


Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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