With people desperate to get out of their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, golf has become an attractive option.
With wide open fairways and plenty of opportunity for physical distancing, the sport is a relatively safe way to enjoy the great outdoors.
And golf clubs that are ready to think creatively can further reduce the risk.
|“Chilliwack Golf Club GM Bryan Ewart says the course is in “fantastic shape,” and offers a picturesque setting for golfers who are tired of being stuck indoors.”|
The Chilliwack Golf Club has developed a multi-point COVID-19 Safety Plan. Among the key points in that plan, according to general manager Bryan Ewart:
– We have increased our regular tee time intervals to 12 minutes (normally it is eight minutes). This provides much more space between every group of four golfers.
– Golfers are permitted to arrive 15 minutes prior to their tee time. We have a greeter at the entrance to the golf course that ensures no one enters sooner. If you arrive more than 15 minutes before your tee time you must wait in your vehicle.
– Our greeter ensures every golfer knows and understands our COVID-19 Safety Plan and the rules we have in place.
– We take a zero tolerance policy. You’ve been informed in advance and if you can’t follow the rules you will be asked to leave.
– Golf carts are permitted but only one person per golf cart is allowed.
– Golf flags/pins are not to be touched and we have foam in the cups to make sure the ball doesn’t drop to the bottom of the hole to allow for easy retrieval.
– Bunker rakes, balls washers and anything else that a golfer could touch have been removed from the golf course.
– We are not accepting cash in any areas of our operations and allow a maximum of three golfers in the golf shop at a time.
– Our staff have been trained on proper sanitation techniques. They are wearing latex gloves and shields have been installed.
|“Chilliwack Golf Club GM Bryan Ewart says there is a zero tolerance policy in place, and signage warns golfers that anyone found to be violating the course’s COVID-19 Safety Plan will be asked to leave. (Submitted photo)|
– If someone is sick or has been out of the country we do not allow them at the golf course.
Ewart notes that there is huge demand at the Chilliwack Golf Club right now, with tee times selling out each day, even with so-so weather.
“Chilliwack Golf Club is getting rave reviews and appreciation from our members and public golfers for the steps we’ve taken to ensure a safe environment is provided for everyone,” he said. “Several emails and phone calls of support have been received. I would estimate that for every 25 or so emails of support and gratitude there has been one email of concern, and I’m assuming the people who have concerns have not reviewed our safety plan.”
Ewart added the club has also introduced a new ‘pay as you go’ style membership geared towards a younger demographic who may not be able to play their usual team sports right now.
“People pay a set monthly fee and can enjoy unlimited golf at our club,” he explained. “We are offering both a ‘full play’ and ‘Twilight’ (after 3 p.m.) option and the price adjusts based on your age. We’re trying to provide an alternative to the other team sports and activities that are normally used as a means to connecting with friends.”