Shelly Stouffer of Fairwinds hammers the ball off the tee during last August’s ladies amateur tournament at Mount Brenton Golf Course. Golfers will soon be back on the greens and fairways of Mount Brenton Golf Course. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Golf courses opening up again amid COVID-19 safety measures

Mount Brenton in Chemainus opts to resume play on Friday for members

There has never been a directive from the provincial health officer to close golf courses due to COVID-19, but most on the Island did anyway after BC Golf chief executive officer Kris Jonasson sent a letter to Dr. Bonnie Henry requesting the closure of all B.C. golf courses in late March.

It’s generally been regarded golf is no different than other activities that have been allowed to continue because of the social distance of players. Many course officials have now made some necessary safety changes to feel comfortable about resuming play again.

The Mount Brenton Golf Course in Chemainus closed on March 24 after a board of directors decision, but has implemented certain procedures to allow play to proceed again.

Related: Mount Brenton Golf Club closed until further notice.

“We are going to open the golf course effective this Friday (April 17) for members and the following Monday, April 20 to members and guests,” said president Art Kendall.

He added there has been considerable consultation with provincial health care officials and local politicians like North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring before arriving at the decision.

“There seems to be support for the golf industry if they observe safety protocols,” noted Kendall.

Nearby courses in Duncan – Cowichan Golf and Country Club and Duncan Meadows Golf Course – have already opened up within the last few days, making it a bit of a foregone conclusion that Mount Brenton would follow suit.

Strict measures have been imposed “to make sure people don’t pool up in groups,” Kendall indicated.

The feeling is small groups of two to four people should be able to maintain social distance.

“If they come and head out on the course and when they finish they head out and leave, it’s no different than walking on the Trans-Canada Trail or whatever,” Kendall reasoned.

“It’s a good way to get out and get some distance and it’s a good activity in your life.”

The practice area and putting green will remain closed.

The game will play a bit differently in the interim, with raised cups rather than anyone having to pick up their ball.

“It just hits it,” said Kendall. “Your ball bounces off of it and you pick up your ball.”

There will also be no need to remove the flag.

“Do not touch the flag stick,” stressed Kendall. “It’s permanently in.”

Golf carts are limited to one person, unless it’s a couple from the same household sharing a cart.

Golf has been in a grey area from the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak about whether courses needed to be shut down or not, but Mount Brenton executive members opted to be safe rather than sorry.

“Most of us decided to jump in and take the conservative route until we had the information that led us elsewhere,” Kendall pointed out.

Most are now satisfied there won’t be a problem if everyone abides by the new guidelines for play. If not, courses could be shut down again promptly.

“You’ll be guided by your own behaviours,” warned Kendall.

CoronavirusGolf

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

Just Posted

Oak Bay sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Glenn Wakefield’s rescue involved five airplanes and took more than 48 hours

UPDATED: Crews contain fire to attic of Central Saanich home

Firefighters are responding to a structure fire in Central Saanich

First fall storm expected to hit Greater Victoria tonight

Heavy rainfall, winds expected over the next several days

Oak Bay chief puts an end to dad jokes on police Twitter

No more jokes on Oak Bay Police Twitter account

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

Islands Trust Conservancy gets funding for protection of at-risk species

Conservancy manages habitat for more than 25 plant and animal species at risk

Most Read