A sunny spring day saw dozens of golfers lined up at the Belmont Golf Course in Fort Langley on Saturday, March 21. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

All golf courses in the province should be closed to prevent virus spreading, British Columbia Golf says

One golf course operator blasts call as “overstepping”

A call to close all golf courses in B.C. during the COVID-19 outbreak has been made by British Columbia Golf, the organization that speaks for amateur golfers in the province.

“Golf is a game that naturally encourages social distancing. By changing the way that we operate, adding new procedures and policies, and increasing our sanitation expectations, we want to continue to be a place of solace for golfers during this very difficult time.”

In his letter to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Sunday, March 22nd, British Columbia Golf executive director Kris Jonasson said all play should be suspended, but maintenance staff at the golf courses should be allowed to maintain them during the shutdown, provided they follow proper safety precautions.

“Nobody should play golf at this time,” Jonasson told the Langley Advance Times.

The call was made the day after a bright and sunny Saturday drew large number of golfers to Lower Mainland courses, with many players failing to follow the two-metre separation called for by heath experts.

“We’ve seen too many examples of people not following the guideline,” Jonasson said.

“It was just becoming increasingly clear that no one was respecting social distancing.”

READ MORE: B.C. announces $5 billion financial relief for COVID-19 pandemic

It did not go over well with Doug Hawley, managing director of the Redwoods Golf Course in Langley, who said the organization was “overstepping.”

“I am shocked that a statement like this has gone forward without any consultation with actual golf course operators,” Hawley commented Monday, March 23rd.

“For BC Golf Association to speak out on behalf of golf courses, rather than to the amateur golfer community, feels as though they are overstepping.” Hawley added.

Hawley said Redwoods has implemented “many new policies and procedures to not only ensure our team members are safe, but that all of our guests on the property are safe as well.”

Governed by the British Columbia Golf Association (BCGA), British Columbia Golf is the governing body of amateur golf in British Columbia, representing more than 56,000 members at over 300 clubs across the province.

On Sunday, Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum said golfers should stay home.

“I think it’s really a normal thought to see golf as a great activity with regards to some of the social distancing guidelines that were given, but I would give further thought to the fact that it’s a lot more interactive than you may think at the outset,” said Applebaum.

“Everyone has to do their duty to not come into contact with others,” Applebaum added.

READ MORE: Langley City, Township, and school district close playgrounds to the public

When the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11th, the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour cancelled or postponed events at all levels of competition.

Golf Canada is expected to cancel or postpone all of its official events and training camps up to mid-May.

Authorities in New Brunswick and Quebec have closed all recreational facilities in those provinces, including all public and private golf courses.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusGolfLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Isolation is normal for us,” says Saanich dad with cystic fibrosis

Gordon Head man says now’s the time to approve life-saving cystic fibrosis drug

Victoria business still busy as people turn to books while in self-isolation

Russell Books says certain genres have gained popularity during COVID-19

Farmers’ markets still open in Greater Victoria

The Moss Street and Esquimalt Farmers’ markets are scheduled to take place, with slight variations

UVic offers students Pass/Fail grading option as COVID-19 impacts spring studies

Students given three options for final grade presentation

Sooke School District promises learning opportunites for students by mid-April

‘No intent to replicate regular school day virtually’ SD62 says

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Most Read