LAC LA BICHE - Starting this week, golf courses in the Lakeland and across Alberta will be driving out a new plan to keep fairways free from COVID.
Since enhanced pandemic restrictions were put into place across Alberta by provincial health officials last Tuesday, golf course managers have been teeing up their own courses of action. The new plans are expected to be in place for at least the next three weeks.
At the Lac La Biche Golf and Country Club, board members and staff have come up with what they hope is a fair-way to follow the new provincial guidelines while keeping the game going.
"We are doing our best to mitigate golfers interacting with each other and not getting too close," said course pro Lance Palamaruk in a message to members on Sunday. "We will continue to do that for the next two to three weeks when we hope these new restrictions will be lifted."
The new measures at the Lac La Biche course will prohibit foursome play unless it is made up a "parent and children under 18" group who live in the same household. In all other cases, a maximum of three adult players from the same household will be permitted. For golfers who live alone, they will only be able to play with their two designated cohorts for the duration of the new restrictions.
Other revisions will see no non-playing companions allowed in a group. Hole flags are not to be touched during play, and while the Pelican Grill restaurant will be open for pick-up and on-course delivery through pre-orders, the lake-view patio area will remain closed.
Palamaruk says the new regulations will be enforced, but added that club staff won't require players to confirm their living situations.
"We ask that you respect the regulations," he said, adding course staff aren't able to create exceptions to the provincial health orders behind the new guidelines — so don't ask.
"Our hands are tied, so please don't come t the golf course to try and debate, discuss or find loopholes to be able to play with someone you are not supposed to," Palamaruk notes.. "Our staff are doing the best they can to try and keep everyone safe."
Golf courses around the region and the province may have slightly different regulations on their individual courses.