Ontario holds roughly 800 golf courses, the most of any other province; it’s a significant part of our economy, contributing more than $5 billion to the province’s Gross Domestic Product. In our region, the Hawkesbury/Champlain/East Hawkesbury area hosts two, the Rockland area two also, Alexandria one and Casselman one, Hammond one, maybe some I forget (sorry!), plus also a few in the Lachute area that avid Ontario golfers may visit at times through the season.
With our earlier spring coupled with some warmer days, golf courses superintendents and personnel are busy doing last minute chores and soon-to-open maintenance, while waiting for Premier Ford’s expected announcement which came on April 2nd; the Premier announced that golf courses could begin to prepare for opening, falling just short of allowing golfers to tee up (which is just around the corner…). Courses can now hire their seasonal staff and they have been posting job offers in local newspapers and other media since last week.
Courses will be allowed to open, but in all respect of significant safety and precaution rules, as they were last season: no bunker rakes, removal of pins or ball washers; clubhouses remain closed, bar and restaurant services are not allowed unless for pick-up and tee times may be spread out longer to avoid any overlap between groups. Sanitation of carts is mandatory, along with user restrictions. Same rules apply for driving ranges. But what about mini-putts? Mini-restrictions?
Golf is a great game: enjoy it for what it is! Allow me to quote golf great Arnold Palmer before your first tee-off of the season: ‘What other people may find in poetry or art museums, a golfer finds in the flight of a good drive’. Or this anonymous one: Golf can best be defined as an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle’. Keep hoping guys: miracles DO happen!