Red Deer’s private golf club opened its grounds to members on Monday, but they should wear sneakers instead of cleats, because golfing is still prohibited.
Members are only allowed to walk the 18-hole course.
Red Deer Golf & Country Club, and every other Alberta golf course, continues to wait for the province to allow golfing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The industry hasn’t received any indication yet when it will be opened. I know we’re pushing as hard as we can. I wish I had some positive news,” said Mike Kenney, general manager of Red Deer Golf & Country Club.
He said golfers are already allowed to play in British Columbia, and Saskatchewan courses can open on May 15. So it’s possible that Alberta will also open in May, but it’s the government’s decision.
An online petition at change.org to allow Alberta courses to open for golfing was started about three weeks ago, and the list of signatures continues to grow, with more than 52,000 as of Monday.
Kenney said golfing can be a very safe activity that allows for proper social distancing. A comprehensive protocol to golf safely during the pandemic has already been developed nationally, he said.
“It’s a lot safer to be on a golf course than to be in a grocery store right now.”
He said so far, Red Deer Golf & Country Club members have not missed out on any golfing. Under normal circumstances, golfing would begin Friday, and the majority of courses from Red Deer to the north would also not be open yet.
Don Haldane, who was at the golf course on Monday morning to walk, said socializing is the best part about golf, but it would still be possible for players to stay six feet apart.
“I’m disappointed, but I do understand (the province’s rules),” Haldane said.
Kate Becker, who also walked the course with her husband, said a walk seemed like good idea after a little too much comfort food recently.
Elsewhere in the city, River Bend Golf Club remained closed to both walkers and golfers, but the public can use the nearby walking trails in River Bend Recreation Area.