Golf courses in Saskatchewan will be allowed to open for play on May 15.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe made the announcement on Thursday during part of the province’s plan to “re-open” following shutdowns brought on by COVID-19.
On March 26, courses were named as “non-allowable” businesses and told to close. No courses were open to play but several across Saskatchewan closed their year-round restaurants or banquet services due to the spread of the virus. Moe said during the announcement the government is trying to find balance of health and safety.
“We have to find the middle ground that continues to keep our case numbers low and keep Saskatchewan people safe while at the same time allowing for businesses to reopen and Saskatchewan people to get back to work,” Moe said.
Every province across Canada had shut down golf except British Columbia. Courses could use their own discretion. The clubs were allowing play with conditions regarding social distancing and other measures, the same will be for Saskatchewan.
Courses will need to adhere to these mandates:
- Physical distancing
- One person to a cart (walking encouraged)
- Raised cups with flags in
- No walk-ons, all players must have tee times
- Tee times 20 minutes apart
- Rakes and ball washers removed
- Public washrooms will be closed
- Driving ranges and putting greens closed
- Locker rooms closed
The Government of Saskatchewan has their five phase plan laid out here and distributed a “Re-Open Plan.” More golf course guidelines can be found on page 35.
Courses will need to keep their restaurants closed for seating, curbside pickup will be allowed. Eating and licensed establishments such as clubhouses are included in phase 3 of the reopen plan but no date was given. Public gatherings are still restricted to under 10.
Golf Saskatchewan, as part of the allied golf associations, has been working with the government (Canadian Society of Club Managers – Saskatchewan Branch, National Golf Course Owners Association Canada – Prairie Chapter, Professional Golfers Association of Canada – Saskatchewan Zone, and Saskatchewan Turfgrass Association) with the hopes of reopening the sport of golf safely during the pandemic. Golf Saskatchewan executive director Brian Lee said he’s pleased the announcement, but safety is still top priority for the people of the province.
“We are pleased with the outcome of today’s announcements. The Government of Saskatchewan’s Business Response Team was great to work with during the lead up to the announcement today. The allied golf associations look forward to working with the Government of Saskatchewan in the days ahead to ensure the health and safety of all the stakeholders and participants as our sport reopens, under the COVID-19 procedures and guidelines,” Lee stated.
Golf Saskatchewan’s provincial championship schedule has not been modified as of today, but will review our procedures and rules for our events in the coming days and weeks. The start of the official season was April 15, scoring for the new World Handicap System will begin when courses open.
Parks and campgrounds will be open on June 1.