As part of the province's plan to relaunch the Alberta economy, Premier Jason Kenney announced that the golf season was given the green light to start.
This news was sweet music to the ears of golf enthusiasts across the province and had phones ringing off the hook at local golf clubs.
CPGA Operations Manager at Cochrane Golf Club, Brad Walz says that the news was well-received by Cochrane golfers and they booked 120 tee-times for Saturday alone.
Walz says that even with the short notice, the Cochrane Golf Club was able to implement new procedures to ensure the safety of their guests. He says "It's fantastic! We have all our protocols in place. We've been fortunate enough to stay ahead of everything so even with our two minutes of notice, we actually got it up and running."
Walz says with these public health orders in place, the golf season will look different at the Cochrane Golf Club this year. He says that golfers are expected to follow strict safety measures as soon as they enter the parking lot.
"I've incorporated a Safety Ambassador, so that's in place as soon as people enter. They will be monitoring the area and making sure proper spacing is in place. We have cart attendants working full time sanitizing all the equipment in front of the guests, and we're sanitizing everything again at the end of the day."
Walz says that further social distancing procedures have also been implemented. He says "We have relaxed the tee-times and are putting people out every 12 minutes versus ten. We're also only allowing one golfer in the pro shop at a time to process payment. There isn't any pro shop retail at this time, so it's just golf-related sales."
Walz says that they have also changed the rules for golf cart usage, and that golf carts will only be for single riders unless guests are from the same household. A "Don't Touch That" rule is also being carried out throughout the course. Walz says "From the flagsticks to broken tee's, the tee boxes and abandoned golf balls, other people's equipment ... Don't Touch That!"
Walz says that while the opening of the Cochrane Golf Club is a personal victory for him, he believes that having an outlet like golf available to the public is important for overall physical and mental well being.