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Golf In The Covid-19 Era; Flagstick Writer Takes A First Lap

Greensmere Golf & Country Club

Joe McLean, Flagstick.com

The game of golf as we knew it last year is a thing of the past. For now, at least.

Last year, as an early morning player, I could roll in to a golf course with my wife, Paula, visit the shop, socialize a bit, maybe have breakfast before my round or lunch after my round. Off to the putting green to roll a few and then to the tee. No, I didn’t miss saying I visited the range to hit a few as I don’t visit that area very often.

I have a belief that I have a finite number of swings left in my body and I don’t use them up at the range.

But that isn’t what happened for my first game of the year at the Greensmere Golf & Country Club on Bear Hill Road in Carp, Ontario in the National Capital Region this morning.

Booking my 8:36 game was easy even though the 12-minute interval tee times on the 36-hole Greensmere complex filled rapidly. Along with the e-mail confirmation of my tee time for my wife and myself, I received a document to read on the Do’s and Don’ts at Greensmere for 2020. 

On the eve of my game, I received another e-mail from the Club titled “A few tidbits for tomorrow’s tee time”, asking me to review the new 2020 procedures for play at the Greensmere Golf & Country Club.

It was interesting to plan the drive from Kanata to fit into the prescribed half hour arrival before my tee-time window. That being said, we were met inside the front gate by Nathan, who reviewed a few of the important procedures to follow and we were then allowed to head to the parking lot.

Checking in at the pro shop was routine and I picked up the key to a cart for Paula and myself as we live in the same household. If we were only acquaintances and not living in the same residence and if we both required carts then we would have each required a single-rider cart.

After a few practice putts on the putting green with no holes, we proceeded to the first tee area five minutes before our scheduled tee time where we met the rest of our foursome, Jelle and Phil from the Corkery area of Ottawa. 

After a few instructions from the starter, we were off to the first tee and our game of golf. I won’t bore you with my less than scintillating play but I will give you a few observations on the terrain. No ball washers, no rakes, raised cups and thus no need to handle the flagstick were in order during the round. Physical distancing during the entire round was also practised. 

At the end of play, we wished our golf companions well, went to our vehicle to drop off our equipment, returned the golf cart and proceeded to leave the golf course.

For the time, this is the new reality and Paula and I felt quite safe with all of the precautions taken by the staff at the Greensmere Golf & Country Club to provide a safe environment.

We thank all of the staff at Greensmere for providing this safe environment.

Golf in this Covid-19 era is a privilege and instructions given by golf courses should be followed if we wish to continue playing the game we all enjoy.

I am quite confident that if the other golf clubs in the Ottawa area are following the same procedures to keep their members and clientele safe then we should continue to enjoy the game throughout the summer.

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