West Kootenay golf courses are set to open up for the season in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
To help ensure the safety of all players and staff, a number of safety protocols have been implemented at the Castlegar Golf Course and Rossland’s Redstone Resort golf course.
Castlegar Golf Course head golf professional Pat Biln said he’s not taking any safety risks as his course prepares to open for members only on Saturday, April 25.
“Some things we’re doing are limiting and spreading out our tee times, closing our driving range to the public, implementing a single-rider policy in all our golf carts and only having one person in our golf shop at all times,” said Biln.
“One staff member will be going around the golf course to enforce and remind people of proper social distancing measures. Signage at our parking lot will also ask people not to show up at the course if they don’t have a tee time.”
Biln said players will be asked to leave the golf course once they finish their round.
One more full-time staff member will also be hired at the course to help implement the safety protocols.
The course’s restaurant, The Nineteenth, is now open for take-out orders only.
Rossland’s Redstone Resort golf course general manager Jeff Bruce said he’s also been busy implementing safety measures at his golf course, which is set to open on Friday, May 1 for members only.
“Once we open, there will be only one entrance as you walk into the shop. We also won’t be allowing golf carts on the course to start the season,” said Bruce.
“Players will also notice no-touch flagsticks, no rakes in the bunkers and no benches or garbage cans on the course. We also won’t have any food and beverage services to start.”
Bruce said a pool noodle helps to prevent a ball from falling into a cup and lets a player retrieve their ball without touching the flagstick, hence the name no-touch flagstick.
The Castlegar Golf Course will also have no-touch flagsticks and won’t have any rakes in its bunkers this season.
Granite Point in Nelson is also slated to open for golfers on May 4.
Bruce said he has a clear message to golfers who don’t abide by the new rules at his course.
“If people aren’t respecting social distancing here at the golf course, they’ll be asked to leave,” said Bruce.
“If our people violate the rules on multiple occasions, we’ll consider removing them from our membership list.”