Canadian golfers are eagerly waiting for some good news to officially be given the green light that courses can begin opening and golf season can be underway. While some provinces are already open, the restrictions are changing everyday.
Once your course is ready to open and you’re ready to return to golf, things will look a little bit different. Unlike team sports, it’s quite easy to social distance during a round of golf, but courses are taking every precaution to minimize any risks.
Courses have adapted the game to our current circumstance. That means no ball washers, limited food and beverages (if any), and raised cups so you don’t need to remove the flagstick.
Throughout it all, you can still keep a handicap, at least according to Golf Canada: “A round played under these conditions will result in an acceptable score for handicap purposes using the most likely score guidelines. When using most likely score, the player should consider the number of strokes most likely required to complete the hole and determine whether the ball would have been holed or not. Most likely score is at the player’s best judgment and should not be used to gain an unfair advantage.”
The game is the same, but golf courses have made plenty of changes to deal with Covid-19 transmission, and you’re going to want to come prepared when you hit your first tee shot of the year so there are no surprises.
No cart rentals
At least for now, many courses aren’t renting out their push carts or minimizing the riders in a cart. That means there could be more golfers walking than ever before. If you’re not used to walking, you might want to get a carry bag or light Sunday bag, which will make it much easier to deal with the five miles you face over 18 holes. You may even want to take it a step further and get your own push cart or an electric cart to help you walk the course with a little extra ease.
If you’re walking, make sure you have a comfortable pair of golf shoes for the extra mileage they’ll be taking.
No water on the course
With no drinking water on the course, you may want a thermos or cooler to keep your water (or other beverages) cool all day.
No ball washers
With spring conditions often being muddy and no ball washing stations, make sure you pour some water on a towel early in the round and using it to keep your ball, clubheads and grips clean, especially since spring conditions can be muddy.
No Pro Shop access
If you can’t readily grab a scorecard from the clubhouse, you’ll want to ensure you have your yardages correct. Now is the time to consider a rangefinder or a GPS that will give you all the distances you need throughout your round. Most of the latest GPS units will also keep your score, so no need to worry about a paper scorecard or a pencil.
Increasingly, golf courses are receptive to allowing golfers to play some music while they walk or ride the course. If we’re faced with playing in twosomes—or even solo—a Bluetooth speaker attached to your golf bag will help keep you engaged on the walk between shots.
Driving Ranges Closed
To minimize your time on the course, many clubs will be closing the driving range, which means you’ll want to make sure you get a good stretch in before teeing off so that you’re warmed up. Golf Town Ambassador Lisa Longball shares some warm up tips that you can do before walking up to the first tee.
These are just a few of the changes you can expect to see when you’re ready to golf again.