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

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

BC Wildfire Service changes training of new firefighter recruits due to COVID-19

‘The BC Wildfire Service will continue to hire staff, including firefighters’

CRD Chair Margo Wagner advises Cariboo to avoid self-isolating in recreational properties

This will help avoid potentially overtaxing local healthcare services

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Interior Health confirms five additional cases in Okanagan COVID-19 outbreak

The total amount of confirmed cases at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. is 19; no further cases expected

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read