Arrowsmith Golf and Country Club remains open to the public. (File photo)

COVID-19: Parksville Qualicum Beach golfers still have options

Strict safety precautions in place to prevent spread of virus

A pair of golf courses remain open in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

Arrowsmith Golf and Country Club has been open, and, after a two-week closure, Pheasant Glen Golf Resort in Qualicum Beach re-opened play for members and guests.

Arrowsmith general manager Pat Jiggins said they are taking all the necessary precautions and continue to follow all British Columbia Health directives from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“We are continually cleaning and everyone on the property obeys physical distancing,” said Jiggins. “We have been in contact with Island Health and are abiding by all regulations.”

READ MORE: All golf courses in the province should be closed to prevent virus spreading, British Columbia Golf says

In order to strictly maintain the physical distancing protocols, Jiggins said they have put extra space between each tee time.

As well, Jiggins said there are no event or group bookings of any type happening right now.

“So, no, there is not a group of 20 seniors booked for this week,” said Jiggins. “Our restaurant and driving range are closed with a maximum of two allowed in the clubhouse at any one time, basically to use the washrooms.”

Strict guidelines are also in place at Pheasant Glen.

Gord Melissa, head pro, said: “We will be offering members and guests to play nine holes only Monday to Saturday. Sundays will be open only to those working on the front lines during this pandemic, health industry workers, grocery stores, delivery services, etc. This is not a full opening.”

A letter was sent out, detailing the protocols.

They include:

• No drop-ins, only those booked in advance will be able to play;

• Allowing only one rider on power carts;

• No club rentals;

• Only allowing golfers to arrive at the course 20 minutes before their tee time;

• Turning cups upside down and lifting one inch above ground so that golfers don’t remove flagsticks or reach into the cup to retrieve their ball;

• Removing bunker rakes and ball washing stations around the course;

• Practise physical distancing by staying a minimum of eight feet away from other people at all times;

• Leave the pin in while putting;

• Do not shake hands or high five to celebrate;

• 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.

Other golf courses in the area – Fairwinds Golf Club, Morningstar Golf Club, Eaglecrest Golf Club, Brigadoon Golf Course and Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Course – remain closed until further notice.

Jiggins pointed out that there are several courses still open in British Columbia and many others throughout North America.

The Canadian and B.C. governments have not mandated the temporary closure of golf courses but advise operators to take every health and safety precaution.

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