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Area courses are ready to welcome golfers

Collingwood golf courses will begin welcoming patrons tomorrow, while TBM courses plan to open in the coming weeks.
2020_05_13 Blue Mountain Monterra Golf_JG
Blue Mountain Resort’s Monterra golf course will be opening Sat. May 23 and reports that the fairways and greens have overwintered well and are in excellent condition for the upcoming season. Contributed photo.

With the green light from Premier Ford, area golf courses are gearing up to welcome their first patrons of the season.

“A small staff have been working on preparing the course for the season,” says Greg Lecky, manager of Blue Mountain Resort's Monterra golf course. “The course itself was ready to open for play when it would typically open - around the first week of May - even despite the weather we have had so far this spring.”

Blue Mountain Resort suspended all operations on March 15 due to COVID-19, which has had obvious implications on the area's tourism numbers.

According to Lecky, Monterra Golf will be the first aspect of the resort's outdoor recreational activities to welcome the public back post-COVID-19, on Saturday, May 23. 

“Many are keen to get back outside but want to continue exercising safe physical distancing and golf is a great sport for doing that,” he says. “Even for those who do not play regularly or haven’t played in a long time, it is a sport that families can all do together outside.”

“The course wintered very well so the fairways, greens and the course overall is in excellent shape for the season," Lecky says.

Lecky adds management has established a number of new protocols in light of COVID-19, for both golfers and staff.

“Golfers will be asked to arrive only 15-minutes prior to their tee time and we will start the season with a limit of one person per golf cart,” he explains. “All high-touch items from our carts and the course such as rakes, ball washers and divot boxes have been removed for the time being. Additionally, we have expanded our tee times to every 15 minutes to help maintain physical distancing around the check-in area and on the course.”

The same can be said for Monterra’s golf shop.

“Our [shop] managers have been preparing to open the shop with new protocols in place to serve golfers, including limiting the number of customers in the store at a time,” he says.

"Golfers should take note that the course will only be able to process payments for tee times online at the time of booking or on-site with credit or debit," Lecky adds.

In the Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM), preparations at the town-operated golf course are also well underway.

“Currently, Tomahawk staff are preparing the course with the regular spring maintenance that would occur each year during start-up such as greens winter damage remediation, over-seeding and tree maintenance, to name a few examples,” says Ryan Gibbons, director of community services for TBM.

“Tomahawk Golf is currently a couple of weeks behind where the usual opening occurs. However, Mother Nature has not cooperated this year so far to provide us ideal weather,” he adds.

Gibbons confirms that the course will be opening to the public in the coming weeks, however, golfers who frequent the Tomahawk golf course should anticipate seeing altered operations due to COVID-19.

“Operational changes will need to occur to accommodate the enforcement of the public health guidelines in place for social distancing,” he says.

Historically, Tomahawk Golf does not allow for tee time bookings and is operated on a first-come, first-serve basis with a green fee of $10. 

Cranberry Golf Course in Collingwood will be opening to the public on Saturday, with patrons also being asked to book tee times in advance online or by phone.

Blue Mountain Golf has announced that it will be shifting to a members-only policy beginning Saturday for the foreseeable future.

Due to the requirement of increased spacing between tee times, the course will be running 10-minute tee times as opposed to eight, and has chosen to reserve the limited time for members-only, states the club's website.

Collingwood’s private golf course, OslerBrook Golf and Country Club, has confirmed that it will be opening to members-only on Saturday as well.

In most cases the local golf courses are limiting power carts to single-riders only, unless users share the same household and can show proof of the same physical address.

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Jennifer Golletz

About the Author: Jennifer Golletz

Jennifer Golletz covers civic matters under the Local Journalism Initative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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