Golf season in Calgary is officially underway, after public courses received the go ahead to reopen on May 2 and several City of Calgary courses opened on May 14. However, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this will be no ordinary golf season.
City and public courses have instituted a variety of new safety measures and procedures to keep golfers and staff safe and healthy. The specifics of these safety measures vary from course to course, but there are still several best practices golfers should follow.
So, if you’re planning to hit the links anytime soon, here are some tips for navigating local courses during COVID-19:
Before you arrive
- Book a tee time, as courses are not accepting walk-on players. This ensures all groups can maintain distancing while checking in and limits the number of people in high-traffic areas of the course.
- Bring your own clubs, as club rentals are not available. However, pre-packaged balls, tees and other equipment may still be available for purchase at the course.
- Most courses are requiring golfers to arrive 10-15 minutes before their tee time (but no earlier), so make sure you leave yourself enough time when planning your outing.
- Putting greens and driving ranges remain closed at several courses, but they might be open with restrictions. Contact the course or visit their website for more information.
- Use the washroom before you depart – many courses currently have limited washroom access available to golfers.
- If relevant, download the course’s app to access maps, course information, scorecards, and/or food and beverage options.
On the course
- You will likely be greeted on arrival by a staff member to confirm your tee time, check you in and process payment for the round.
- If you require a pull cart or power cart, these are generally available and heavily disinfected between uses. Power carts can only have one rider, unless multiple members of a group are from the same household.
- Maintain social distancing throughout your round, do not share equipment with other golfers and don’t touch flagsticks.
- In most cases, benches, ball washers and bunker rakes have been removed or marked off limits.
After the round
- No high fiving or handshakes.
- Remove your clubs, and any garbage or personal items, from your power cart before parking it in the course’s designated drop-off area.
- Return your belongings to your vehicle and leave promptly. Do not loiter, as this could make it difficult for other groups to maintain social distancing while entering and leaving the course.
Here are a few examples of current COVID-19 protocols at Calgary-and-area golf courses: