Golf courses in Ontario are getting ready to open this weekend, but with new greens come new guidelines.
The Provincial government announced earlier this week that golf course operators will be allowed to reopen this Saturday, just in time for the May long weekend, as part of Ontario's first stage of easing restrictions.
That includes all five of Toronto's golf courses: Dentonia Park, Don Valley, Humber Valley, Scarlett Woods, and Tam O'Shanter courses. According to Park officials, bookings for the long weekend are already sold out.
Though the leisurely past-time naturally has some physical distancing built in to the sport (there's definitely no jostling involved on the fairway), the City has created new guidelines to follow during the pandemic, as has Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS).
Golfers will be screened by staff before entry to the courses, and clubhouses will have a restriction on the number of people inside. Same goes for golf carts, which are now limited to one per player.
Tee times, which will be staggered 12 minutes apart, will start at 7 a.m. and end at dusk. The appropriate distance to maintain between other players is two metres, or, for easier reference, the length of two golf clubs.
Drop-in or walk-in games are no longer allowed: you'll have to book your game through the City's website or by calling the golf course up to five days in advance.
As for the flag poles, players are advised not to touch them at all.
What might be the strangest change on the course are the new touchless ball-removal measures, which the Province is recommending as elevated cups at each hole, so that balls don't drop inside.
Winning rules now mean that the game is concluded when the ball makes contact with the cup, which could look different depending on what course you're at: some courses are elevating the cup while others might fill it in with material like foam.
As for scorecards, some golf courses are moving those online, and asking players to print them out before heading to the course, so make sure to head online for more details.
by Tanya Mok via blogTO