Murrayville golfer Greg Powell has taken to wearing a face covering when he golfs. The essential service worker said when he is well-separated from other golfers, he pulls it down. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Langley golf courses are keeping busy during the pandemic

Maintaining social seperation isn’t that hard on a golfing green

These days, when Murrayville resident Greg Powell goes golfing, he wears a bandanna around his neck.

When he can’t maintain proper social distancing, he pulls the cloth up to mask his face.

“When I get in close, like in the pro shop,” explained Powell, an essential service worker who is used to wearing masks on the job.

Langley City resident Richard Gendron doesn’t wear a mask, but is careful to keep his distance while on the course.

Gendron, who has been playing for more than 30 years, is happy the courses have remained open.

“It’s the one thing you can do to get out of the house,” Gendron commented.

Golf courses in Langley have been adapting to demands of life during the coronavirus pandemic, instituting rules to maintain minimum distances and even modifying equipment to reduce the possibility of transmission.

While some provinces, such as Alberta and Ontario, ordered golf courses closed during the pandemic, in B.C they were free to continue operating provided they made sure players remained physically distant.

According to one estimate, of more than 2,000 golf courses in Canada, only about 100 of them remained open, virtually all of them in B.C.believed to be in B.C.

At Newlands Golf and Country Club, tournament coordinator Richard Davies told the Langley Advance Times golfers can still share golf carts on the course, through installing transparent plastic “COVID dividers” between the seats.

“This is one way they can share and do it safely,” Davies noted.

Davies described golf as the perfect game for the times we live in, an outdoor sport that naturally allows space between players.

He said Newlands has been very busy since mid-April.

“We’ve had quite a few new players, people who’ve been trapped in their house and have been aching to get out and do something,.” Davies related.

“They seem to be super happy to come here.”

“It’s been pretty much business as usual, with the exception of the COVID protocols,” Davies added.

Poppy Golf Estates course near Aldergrove is telling early arrivals to wait in their cars if they get there more than 15 minutes before their tee time.

“Hole cups are upside down to reduce physical contact and there will be no ball washers or rakes,” the posted Poppy rules state.

“Do not touch the pins.”

No social gatherings of any size are permitted in the Poppy parking lot or overflow parking lot areas, and people who fail to follow social distancing policies will be asked to leave the property.

Like Newlands and Poppy, Redwoods Golf Course near Fort Langley is taking steps to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.

“It’s definitely changed the way we operate,” said Jenna White, marketing and human resources manager at Redwoods.

Redwoods is also seeing a surge in interest by people new to the game.

“A lot of new customers,” White observed.

Like all courses, Redwoods has made changes, such as moving to online reservations only.

White said “not a lot” of the golfers playing at the Fort Langley course are wearing masks, “because there’s so much distance and it’s an outdoor thing.”

Redwoods has adopted a policy of one rider per golf cart, “unless they can prove they are from the same family,” White elaborated.

Most golfers are careful to respect distancing, White added.

“Everyone’s been very good that way.”

READ ALSO: Close all golf courses, British Columbia Golf says

Back in March, British Columbia Golf (BCG) , the organization that speaks for amateur golfers in the province, drew heat when it suggested all courses ought to be closed.

BCG executive director Kris Jonasson said all play should be suspended.

“Nobody should play golf at this time,” Jonasson declared.

Doug Hawley, managing director of Redwoods fired back, saying the organization was “overstepping.”

READ ALSO: Indoor golf returns to Langley

“Golf is a game that naturally encourages social distancing,” Hawley said.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusGolfLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Golfers at the Newlands course were well-separated on Sunday, May 31, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Langley City golfer Richard Gendron takes a practice shot at the Newlands golf course on Sunday, May 31 (Dan Ferguson/Langey Advance Times)

Jeff Franklin from Aldergrove lines up a practice putt at Newlands on Sunday, May 31 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance times)

Just Posted

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

‘Our hands are tied’: Langley Good Times Cruise-In announces cancellation due to COVID-19

People are encouraged to donate to the chosen Langley charities online, said Cruise-In director

Langley Township lifts evacuation alert as flooding threat drops

People are still advised to avoid the Fraser River due to fast running water

Langley nurse wins yard makeover in contest for frontline workers

The free yardwork helped relieve some of the stress for a Willoughby nurse and mom

Rideshare expands into Aldergrove

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

Most Read