Courses Opening in BC

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By Barry S

  • 14 Replies
  1. Barry S

    Barry S
    Oakville, ON

    I heard that courses are starting to open up in BC with strict guidelines. Hope Ontario follows sooner than later

  2. FJL

    Kitchener, ON

    Here in Kitchener, I just received a notice today by email that the city is expanding it's closings for recreational activities/areas closed now until June 30. I am assuming this includes their two municipal golf courses as the openings were postponed as well.
    It'll be interesting if the golf courses credit you should you have paid in advance or reimburse you but now the argument is when does the season start.
    I only bring this up because I was surprised several years back when I got injured and had to provide a doctor's note and the course was going to credit me the following year and trust me, I was appreciative when they suggested it. The problem was that usually, the opening for us golfers in early May.... or so I thought. I was thoroughly surprised to be told by the General Manager, "Uh uh, the season starts March 1st!", so that was a good thing.... for them, lol.
    I politely suggested to him that we don't start golfing March 1st, we start a few months later and then he started arguing with me so I left his office and to this day I always send him an email on March 1st of every year wishing him a good opening to the season and all the success that is due.
    Like I said, hope they don't screw the golfers for this, it's supposed to be a game of integrity and character where you show respect.... hope that's what we all get this time 'round.
  3. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    FJL... I totally understand where you are coming from with regards to getting a potential refund for a period where play is not available yet pre-paid. However - I also see the other side of things particularly this year under these extreme circumstances. I am a member at a private course and paid for this year's membership prior to December 31st. Our official opening day is May 1 and we close on October 31. That is a six month window. If we were not to open before June 30th I will have missed 33% of the season. Here is the issue. This is going to be a tough year on not only us, but on the golf course as well. They need to maintain the course and have been since the end of March. There are a lot of costs involved in maintaining the course with mowing, fertilizing, spraying, etc... If all the members demanded 1/3 of their fees rebated it could very likely be the death knell for the course and then we have nothing. Given the fact that the money I paid out is already long gone from my bank account, I would rather see them keep the funds to help ensure I have a course to come to for years in the future. As I said - it is a tough one to call, but I really appreciate how this pandemic is affecting not only us in a personal way, but also the businesses we want to have available once the dust settles.
  4. FJL

    Kitchener, ON

    Well Darius..... this situation has no precedent, so it will be interesting to see what actually happens, especially if this pandemic goes into October which is what is being predicted.

    I believe there is no comparison between a private club or equity membership vs. a public facility/semi private that allows green fee-ers like a Golf North.

  5. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    I heard today that Taboo will not be opening this year. Perhaps ever ! I wonder how many other courses will be in that position before the year is out ? It is so sad to see local courses shut down :(
  6. Dino J

    Dino J
    Burnaby, BC

    Yes, I completely agree with the sentiment Darius.

    The last time we went through something like this would have been the Great Depression and the Second World War. Unfortunately, golf was in a rather youthful state ... the Roaring 20s made the game popular with player's like Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen and of course, Bobby Jones. But, by the 1930s, they were all either leaving the scene or had left the scene. Jones and Roberts were even worried that Augusta National was not going to survive the War. Had it not been for the support of the sports biggest stars, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan, the Masters may not have lived to see another day and become arguably the greatest jewel in the sports crown of majors.

    Many courses folded after having been fuelled by a construction boom in the 1920s. While golf was kept alive by the American triumvirate of Snead, Nelson and Hogan, during the 1940s and early 1950s, it took a young Arnold Palmer and the rapid growth in television sets to see the game "explode" again in popularity.

    Now, I am not so bullish on the sport's long term viability - at least in North America and definitely in Canada. At one time, Canadians represented one of the highest per capita rates of participation in golf. Yet, I am observing golf courses across BC, at least, fighting to remain viable.

    Too many people view golf as some "rich old, white male's game" ... not understanding that stereotype is not consistent with reality. I am seeing it here in Vancouver - the Parks Board is looking at whether to keep the three municipal courses open or see them redeveloped for housing and or further mixed development. Many communities in the interior of British Columbia are also struggling economically, largely because of the low to non-existent population growth. Golf courses and local golf clubs that once were bustling with active Men's Nights, Ladies Days, Senior outings and Junior days have evaporated. Courses are selling off surplus land to raise funds to keep operating - but that is not a sustainable business model. Pretty soon, you run out of land and end up having to sell the golf course itself.

    Sorry to sound like a downer, one of the two bright spots that I see on the horizon here in Vancouver is the growth of the Asian players and the various efforts to increase participation amongst female players. The large influx of an Asian population here has led to a serious injection of players that are golf happy! And, that helps with the golf courses operations and bottom line!

    Anyway, courses here in Vancouver area are starting to reopen again, but on a municipality by municipality basis. The kitchens, pubs, etc. will not be open, and many places here will not rent carts, pull carts, etc. Ball washers have been removed, flags are not to be removed, some have "lifted the cups" so that they are elevated an inch above the surface so that people do not have to pick their ball up out of the hole.

    Hopefully the courses in Ontario, Alberta, etc. will start opening again under modified operating parameters.

  7. Looks like Ontario is going to allow golf courses to open sooner than later. Here's hoping.
  8. Darius V

    Darius V
    Barrie, ON

    Bob - Don't be a tease... What have you heard ?????
  9. Golf courses are going to allowed to open as soon as the premier says it's go time and he sets a date for phase one. If the date is not May 15, then it certainly will be before the long weekend in May.
  10. Trevor D

    Trevor D
    Bragg Creek,

    It's frustrating that the courses aren't slated to open. It's the easiest sport there is to maintain social distancing.
  11. Todd J

    Todd J
    Calgary, Alberta

    The good news is that we aren't usually opened yet here in Alberta so we haven't missed anything. It appears that the lobbying of the Ab Gov is working and they should have an announcement soon.
    With pro shops and dinning rooms not going to open it still might be hard for the courses to survive.
  12. Scott D

    Scott D

    Todd I am extremely disappointed with the Provincial government here. Courses in BC have been open for quite some time, a friend of my wife's keeps sending pictures of her golfing that is maddening. I believe that they will open sooner than later. Early in March Alberta Health had set out guidelines for opening then the Chief Medical Officer put a stop to it the next week.
  13. Scott D

    Scott D

    Good news Govt finally gave approval for courses to open Monday May4th. Now just waiting to see how our course starts up
  14. Scott D

    Scott D

    Good news Govt finally gave approval for courses to open Monday May4th. Now just waiting to see how our course starts up
  15. Giovanni L

    Giovanni L
    Coquitlam, BC

    Been able to try different courses I wouldn't normally play with the major munis shut down until late last week.

    Was certainly tough trying to get on this weekend with 18 minute gaps at the 2/3 Vancouver munis. Looks like they're decreasing those gaps so hoping we've peaked in BC.

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