Yesterday, the Province of Ontario announced amendments to an Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that permit the use of golf courses beginning this weekend. In response, the City of Toronto will open all five of its golf courses for the 2020 season starting Saturday.
Dentonia Park, Don Valley, Humber Valley, Scarlett Woods and Tam O’Shanter courses will open Saturday morning, under the guidance of the Medical Officer of Health. To ensure the City’s golf courses operate safely, both for the benefit of those using the courses and for the general public, the City has created guidelines which include details on infection prevention and control measures, including parameters for physical distancing and the cleaning and disinfection of commonly used equipment and surfaces.
Toronto’s courses are all affordable, high quality and TTC-accessible. Each course has unique characteristics and offers something for all skill levels. A family night discount is available where junior players can golf for free when accompanied by a paying adult during the weekend afternoon nine-hole times. The courses offer affordable clinics and annual memberships for junior golfers ages 10 to 18. Private, semi-private and group lessons taught by qualified instructors are also available. To allow for physical distancing, group lessons and clinics will be offered for a maximum of four people at a time.
FlingGolf is available at all City courses other than Don Valley. This sporting activity, which combines elements of golf and lacrosse, is played with a FlingStick (rentals available) to hurl a golf ball on the golf course. FlingGolf offers a faster pace of play and is designed to help introduce new players to the game – or to provide a new challenge for the experienced golfer.
Tee times will start at 7 a.m. and end at dusk, with tee times 12 minutes apart. Golfers must remain 2 metres (6 feet), or the length of two golf clubs, apart at all times. According to Parks officials, the long weekend is nearly sold out, but there are still a few slots available on Tuesday and Wednesday. They must be booked up to five days in advance through the City’s website or by calling the golf course. People who drop-in or walk-in will not be permitted access to the course. Tee times sell out quickly, so residents are encouraged to book early. Washrooms will be made available in the clubhouses. Pro-shops will be opened to facilitate equipment rentals and contactless debit or credit
will be accepted for payment.
More information about the City’s golf courses and booking options, including contact information for each course, is available at toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/golf.
“I am pleased we will be opening the City’s golf courses for the 2020 season – it is one of the first steps in opening up parts of our city that have been closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. We must ensure that the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved from the golfers to the course staff and greenkeepers, is maintained at all times. Golfers have well observed the prohibitions and must keep up the good work and act responsibly as play resumes.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Toronto’s golf courses offer people the opportunity to get out and be physically active while continuing to practice physical distancing. In addition to being a place of recreation, golf courses hold valuable green space and river systems and are part of our tree canopy. They are a vital part of the city’s biodiversity. Golf is a sport that easily translates to independent play and courses provide enough space to ensure that people can stay apart from each other. I encourage those who may not have considered golf before to try at hand a round at one of the City’s courses”
– Councillor Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee
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