By Madison Gummow
The provincial government is working with the National Allied Golf Associations Alberta (NAGA) to open as usual this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. New rules will be implemented to prevent the spread of the virus.
As of now, all golf courses remain closed to the public.
Robert Rousselle, the Executive Director of the Professional Golfers Association of Alberta and President of NAGA, says NAGA and the Alberta Government are working together to ensure that golf courses in Alberta open, but above all that people remain safe amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.
“The Alberta Government is presently recognizing the importance of our phsycial and mental well-being by allowing us to open with these new rules. Our open dialogue with the provincial government will continue and we will share any new information as it is received,” said Rousselle on behalf of NAGA in a letter sent April 4.
NAGA Alberta says the health and well-being of staff and the public is their top priority. They are consulting with industry experts and health officials to create new regulations for Alberta golf courses.
New regulations as of now include:
– All staff handling cash or credit cards must wear protective gloves during all transactions.
– Golfers and staff are encouraged to replace handshakes with other touchless forms of greeting.
– Do not permit the removal of flags when on the green so as not to encourage the spread of the virus.
– Spacing out tee times, no renting clubs or pull carts.
– Power carts will be allowed with one person per cart. With the exception being when two players arrive at the golf course together in the same vehicle, they will be allowed to share a cart.
– All food/beverage sit-down facilities will be closed.
With Alberta’s economy facing an enormous decline, keeping the golf industry open will bring 42,000 jobs. The golf industry generates 2.4 billion dollars annually to the Alberta economy.
An open line of communication with the Alberta Government will allow these guidelines to adapt as needed.