Golfers teeing off at courses in northeast Winnipeg will notice some changes as their host clubs get to grips with government mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter posted on the course website, Harbourview Golf Course PGA golf professional Michel Pilon said that due to extended public health orders golfers will only be allowed to play with members of their own households through June 11. Only those paying green fees will be allowed on the course and golfers must provide proof of address when checking in to prove they live at the same address. No walk-on players will be allowed
It is much the same over at Rossmere Country Club, said general manager Scott Parker. The popular course at 925 Watt St. offers 12 tee times per hour, with at most two golfers from the same address allowed at one time. The restrictions loosen after 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays when up to four people from the same home can hit the links together.
"We have about 600 members and 120 to 165 might golf in a day," Parker said. "It’s pretty tough to operate and everyone’s patient, but it’s not something to go on forever."
Transcona Golf Club pro Steve Witiuk said only members from the same address can golf together at any one time.
"If you’re from the same address, you can play in a foursome," Witiuk said.
Only take-out service is available at the course restaurant, Witiuk added.
Golfers are advised to check with each course as procedures vary from place to place.
Harbourview’s driving range is open, but with a limited number of stalls available. Pro shops may only allow one customer in at a time. Clubhouses will have limited access and are using enhanced cleaning procedures. Face masks must be worn inside at all times.
Golfers at all courses are asked to arrive at most 30 minutes before their tee times unless they are using the driving range and don’t forget your debit or credit cards as the golf clubs, like most other businesses, are discouraging the use of cash.
At Harbourview, golfers are asked to answer a brief COVID-19 questionnaire both when reserving a tee time and when they check in. High-touch surfaces on the course, such as bunker rakes and ball washers, may be removed. Do not touch the flag when putting.
"Consider making all putts inside three feet gimmes," Pilon said.
While golfers can still play a round, the lack of full restaurant service is hardest on clubhouse staff, said Rossmere’s Parker.
"We have very limited staff. On the food and beverage side we are at about 20 per cent. On the golf side, we cut back a little bit as there is still cleaning of clubs and other work to do.
"It’s been tough on the young kids who have a summer job to pay for school. I feel bad for them."
While the entire experience may look a little different, once you’re on the course it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.
"After the rain last week (the course at Rossmere is) in great shape," Parker said. "It looks really good."
"It’s finally starting to fill in and it’s greening up nicely," added Transcona GC’s Witiuk.
Community correspondent - East Kildonan
Tony Zerucha is a community correspondent for East Kildonan. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org