Golf courses in Saskatchewan have been given the go ahead by the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to open on May 15 with certain restrictions in place.
Most notable is there will be no “walk-ons”, all golfers will have to book a tee time and pay in advance. Players will be asked to follow strict adherence to physical distancing when arriving and at all times during course play.
COVID-19 signs will be put up at each course to make sure all players are aware of the conditions set out by the SHA.
Practice greens and driving ranges will be allowed and again, golfers must be in full compliance of the physical distancing guidelines. Some courses may not have their practice range or putting green open due to their course’s situation and inability to provide for physical distancing guidelines.
There will be 12-minute intervals between tee times, which has been revised from 20 minutes in the initial restrictions.
A maximum of four golfers per group is allowed and groups finishing a hole should allow the group ahead to finish teeing off before approaching the next tee off box. Only one golfer will be permitted to a power cart unless the golfers reside in the same household. Courses may require each golfer to provide their name and phone number prior to tee off. This is a safety precaution so if there was a COVID-19 outbreak, the course personnel would be able to identify where and how it was spread.
Golfers will want to make sure that they have a means to clean their golf balls as there will be no ball washers, as well as no rakes in sand traps and no on-course washrooms.
The washroom facilities at clubhouses will be open and only one person at a time will be allowed entry to the facility.
Flags will remain in at all times and cups will be elevated or engineered in such a way that a golfer can retrieve the ball without having to reach into the cup and/or touching it or the flagstick.
Guidelines for golf will be updated as the SHA sees fit and some changes will occur on May 19 as to how courses are allowed to operate, so check the guidelines regularly and stay informed. Golfers will want to check with their local pro shop for any other rules or restrictions that will be in place to ensure that the course they are playing can maintain the integrity of the SHA guidelines or the jurisdiction that the course is situated in.
Remember that these guidelines are provincially mandated, golfers going out of province should make sure they have a clear understanding of the guidelines for other jurisdictions before departing.
All information is provided on the Saskatchewan Government website under Golf Course Guidelines.