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Golf courses considered non-essential, will need government approval to open

Written by Clark Stork

During the Government of Saskatchewan’s daily media conference Wednesday, Premier Scott Moe added more businesses to the list that are required to close to battle the spread of Covid-19.

Golf courses were not mentioned on the list of “non-allowable business services” released on March 25 by the provincial government but a follow-up email to the Saskatchewan Health Authority from Golf Saskatchewan states courses would likely be closed if the season was open.

“As of this afternoon, March 25 further precautions were made. A list of allowable business services, was released at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/-/media/news-release-backgrounders/2020/mar/critical-public-services-to-address-covid-19-and-allowable-business-services.pdf and golf courses were not listed as an allowable business service,” the email said.

Businesses falling under the new announcement include “public-facing” services such as shoe and clothing stores, flower shops, sporting good stores, and others. Critical public services and business services will be allowed to continue operating during the COVID-19 response and to maintain critical services to the public and industry to prevent supply chain disruption.

Wednesday’s announcement also restricted public gatherings to less than 10 people in one room and are prohibited unless there is a two-metre distance between attendees.

The Government of Saskatchewan has declared a provincial State of Emergency, giving the government broad powers to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Any new measures and information will be updated at www.saskatchewan.ca/COVID19 and during the daily updates, Monday through Friday, on major news outlets channels at 2:30 p.m. Saskatchewan time.

For most of Saskatchewan, we are still weeks away from courses opening for play in 2020. Several club operators have reached out to Golf Saskatchewan looking for a directive from the organization. Executive Director Brian Lee said courses may not be allowed to open but can have staff on hand to be ready to hit the ground running when getting the green light.

“Although our first priority is trying to flatten the curve, golf course operators will have an opportunity to get prepared for the start of golf season,” Lee said. “Using the health practices outlined on the Saskatchewan.ca website including proper hand washing protocols and social distancing measures, owners, managers and employees could get their facilities ready for the pending start of the golf season. The clubhouse may not be open to the public however a government decision on our industry may be coming in the next few weeks as the weather improves.”

“Golf Saskatchewan has had to cancel our Rules and Course Rating seminars and will conduct a video conference annual general meeting on April 18. We have not made changes to our championship registration date, scheduled to open on April 15 and the events schedule remains as previously communicated,” Lee added.

Course operators looking for more details can also call 1-844-800-8688.

Golf Saskatchewan will continue to monitor the situation leading up to the official opening of the golf season.

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