Golfers come out swinging

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Duffers rejoiced!

Golf courses in Ontario were allowed to open for the 2020 season on Saturday.

Favourable early-spring conditions would have enabled most clubs in the Leeds and Grenville area to open several weeks earlier, but the COVID-19 pandemic kept them closed to the public until the provincial government announced recently that courses could open to the public as of May 16.

Courses had been allowed to ramp up their preparation activities in the days leading up to Saturday; prior to that, only basic maintenance was permitted.

The Brockville Country Club held a ceremony on its 10th tee Saturday morning to mark the long-awaited opening of the season.

Teeing off were local MPP Steve Clark, Brockville Mayor Jason Baker and Elizabethtown-Kitley Mayor Brant Burrow, as well as club president Ted Broome and radio personality Bruce Wylie.

In addition to provincial guidelines mandating two-metre physical distancing, golfers are also affected by numerous adjustments created in response to the virus outbreak.


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There are no sandtrap rakes, water stations or ball washers, and players are to avoid touching the flags on greens.

“It is very important that we get this right,” Golf Ontario states on its website.

“It will be a big boost to our collective mental health… and will help kickstart the economic recovery in Ontario.”

All courses are requiring tee times to be booked in advance.

The Prescott Golf Club reserved play on the weekend for its members. Tee times were available to the public beginning on Victoria Day. Access to most clubhouses is limited to washrooms. Many pro shops are open, but there are limits to how many people can visit at any time.

If restaurants at golf courses are open, they remain limited to take-out and/or delivery service.

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Longtime Brockville Country Club member Kevin Beattie used a nine-iron to shoot a hole-in-one on #9 – “Little Misery” – on opening day of the 2020 golf season Saturday. jpg, BT