By Shane Bage, Resorts of Ontario
ONTARIO — The 2020 golf season is here! When the announcement came through last month, golf courses were more than thrilled to begin their seasons. What incredible weather they had for it!
Naturally during this pandemic, everything has changed and so has the golf game. What does this “new normal” golf season look like and how has it been built into the golf game?
Mandated from Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS), here are guidelines that golf courses will be following to protect everyone:
- Golfers will be screened by staff before entry to the courses, and clubhouses will have a restriction on the number of people inside. Same goes for golf carts, which are now limited to one per player, unless you reside in the same household and have proof.
- Tee times will be staggered further apart (Each course may have different rules on how staggered the tee times will be) to avoid congestion and maintain the two meter physical distancing or in golfers terms, two golf club lengths. Game play will follow the two-metre distance rule as well.
- Drop-in or walk-in games are no longer allowed. You’ll have to book your game in advance online or by calling. It’s suggested to pre-pay for your round to minimize physical contact.
- Players are advised not to touch any of the flag poles at all. To avoid the ball dropping in the hole, cups will be raised.
Of course, don’t forget to use proper handwashing and sanitizing techniques!
Not all golf courses have fully opened yet and some are open just on the weekends, but here is a list of some of the courses that are open and ready to welcome you to hit the greens:
- Big Win Island
- Blue Mountain Resort
- The Briars Resort & Spa
- Cobble Beach
- Cranberry Golf Course
- Deerhurst Resort (Expected to open mid- June )
- Eganridge Resort Country Club and Spa
- Glenhouse Resort
- Hockley Valley Resort
- Horseshoe Resort
- Oakwood Resort
- Rocky Crest Golf Club
- Sherwood Inn
Golf is a great game to enjoy whether you’re a beginner or a pro or maybe you’re looking for a new experience where you can get exercise outdoors and enjoy the serenity of nature. Resorts of Ontario members offer some great stay and play packages where you can experience;
Doug Carrick designed links-style 18 hole golf course offers a breathtaking view of Georgian Bay from every hole at Cobble Beach. Small pot bunkers, closely mown chipping areas and hollows surrounding the greens provide the fast running, bump and run characteristics typical of the great links courses.
An inclusive course designed for golfers to exceed their own expectations from tee-off forward. Monterra Golf at Blue Mountain Resort features rolling bent grass fairways, 86 bunkers, ravines, creeks, lakes, and elevated tee shots in an inspiring mountain setting that makes for memorable rounds. We take care of the little details like GPS tracking on all carts so that you can focus on the big picture.
Renowned Canadian golf course architect Thomas McBroom designed Hockley Valley Resort’s 18- hole championship golf course, boasts some of the most breathtaking vistas in southern Ontario. Emerald-bent grass fairways were skillfully incorporated into the natural landscape, leaving much of the terrain untouched and framed by rolling fescue-covered hills. The unrivalled natural beauty and challenging design will test all aspects of your game, on a course where pars are memorable and the experience will keep you coming back time and again.
Golfweek ranked Ontario Golf Resort, Rocky Crest Golf Club, sixth in its listing of the best Canadian courses of the modern era (post 1960). Amidst the beauty of the surrounding giant forests of pine, white birch and hemlock, the rolling fairways will captivate you as the granite outcroppings challenge your skills. This premier Ontario golf course is presided over by an imposing pine-log lodge-style clubhouse and incorporates all the spine-tingling qualities of the Muskoka golf experience. With tees stretching from 6,936 yards down to 5,131, Rocky Crest is a delight for golfers of all abilities.
When Lake Joseph Club opened in 1997, it caused jaws to drop around the golf world. Architect Thomas McBroom utilized the granite crags, towering trees and heaving topography of the incomparable Muskoka regions with such success that the course named the best new course in country by Golf Digest. Five tee decks stretch from 6,995 yards down to 5,081.
Two-time major champion Mark O’Meara knows a thing or two about golf courses and that insight is obvious to anyone fortunate enough to play the Mark O’Meara Course at Grandview Golf Club.
Winding its way through the granite, forest and wetlands of the incomparable Muskoka region, and with tees ranging from 7,065 yards to 4,750, Grandview is a delight to play. The course, site of the 2002 Telus Skins Game won by Sergio Garcia over Vijay Singh, John Daly and Mike Weir, and the 2002 Canadian Tour Ontario Open, is accentuated by a stunning clubhouse, and a nine-hole Academy Course.
These are a few courses to add to you bucket list! Many others offer great stay and play packages. Visit Resorts of Ontario’s Golf Page to learn more! So what are you waiting for, dust off those clubs are start planning your golf getaway today – it’s guaran-tee-d to be un-fore-get-able!