Running a Golf Course during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted golf courses across Canada, many of which are now opening to members only, and following the strict safety protocols set by the Chief Medical Officer for each province or territory.

Running a Business While Reducing Potential Spread of COVID-19

Everyone is responsible for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and helping to flatten the curve. One example of a golf course that has implemented measures quickly to make golf accessible to its members and frontline workers during this pandemic is Pheasant Glen Golf Resort.

Pheasant Glen Golf Resort, located in Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, is one example of a golf course that has successfully redirected its management strategies to keep its staff employed, hire local contractors for resort developments, and is currently open to Members only (as of April 16, 2020).

The protocols set in motion at Pheasant Glen ensures their facility continues to be clean and safe for its members, guests and employees, with full compliance with the B.C. Chief Medical Officer’s orders. 

Here are steps that other golf courses can adopt during these challenging times:

Steps to Reduce the Potential Spread COVID-19

  • Golf Shops and Food and Beverage buildings remain CLOSED to the public 
  • Allow only one rider on power carts
  • No club rentals
  • Increase the gap between tee times (12 minutes)
  • Only allow golfers to arrive at the course 20 minutes before their tee time
  • Have a player’s assistant tour the golf course to make sure players are practicing social distancing
  • Turn cups upside down and lift one inch above ground so that golfers don’t remove flagsticks or reach into the cup to retrieve their ball
  • Remove bunker rakes and ball washing stations around the course
  • Close the driving range, putting green and chipping areas
  • Increase sanitation in public spaces and commonly touched areas
  • Limit the number of staff working on site
  • Educate staff on effective hand washing techniques
  • Guest green fees and carts are to be paid in advance by ONE person in the group with a credit card over the phone, the rest of the group can e-transfer their fee to the person paying

Expectations for Guests

  • Stay at home if you or anyone in your household have any symptoms of COVID-19
  • Stay at home if you have traveled within the last 14 days
  • Each group must have a Group Captain. Each Captain will be responsible for booking the group. Captains will also be responsible for attesting to personal knowledge that each member of the group has adhered to social distancing policies and course protocols
  • Group Captain will communicate at the Golf Shop window that their group is there and ready to play
  • Practice physical distancing by stay a minimum of 8 feet away from other people at all times
  • Leave the pin in while putting
  • Do not shake hands or high five to celebrate
  • Do not loiter in the parking lot before or after your round
  • Do not enter any buildings except bathrooms
  • Only one person in bathrooms at a time
  • Anyone that does not comply with these protocols will be instructed to leave the property immediately and will not be allowed back until this pandemic has officially passed and government social distancing restrictions lifted.

During the pandemic, we recommend that golf courses continue to monitor the risks associated with COVID-19 as reported by their provincial or territorial Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.