Golf Ontario COVID-19 Updates
May 14, 2020 DOCUMENTATION UPDATE
Here are links to some of the key guidelines and resources around today’s re-opening of golf courses announcement
- Workplace Safety & Prevention Services: Guidance on Health and Safety for the Golf Course Sector during COVID-19
- Ontario’s We Are Golf Protocols
- Ontario’s We Are Golf Best Practices for Golfers
May 14, 2020 UPDATE
Great News for Golf in Ontario!
Ontario Government Permitting Golf to Open Saturday, May 16th!
Thank you to everyone for your patience and commitment to your facilities as we all have worked through these challenging times. Ontario’s We Are Golf partners have been working very hard to create a path to safe golf and we are thrilled that this work has resulted in the Ontario Government allowing golf courses to re-open. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this process and the collaboration across groups has been wonderful to see.
As you just heard, golf in Ontario is permitted to open on Saturday May 16th. However clubhouses may only open for washrooms access and restaurants may only open for take-out.
Golf course operators must adhere to social distancing and personal hygiene rules as well as to understand and follow the Provincial Government’s Guidance for Golf Operators recommended protocols and the Health and Safety Association Guidance Documents for Workplaces During the COVID-19 Outbreak. Please click on the links below to download these documents:
- Workplace Safety & Prevention Services: Guidance on Health and Safety for the Golf Course Sector during COVID-19 | released by Ontario Government May 14, 2020.
- COVID-19 Sector-Specific Health and Safety Guidance Documents
With respect to tee-times, it is suggested that you follow protocol GO-006 in the Golf Operations section of Ontario’s We Are Golf Protocol document. Please click below to download the protocols.
Although golf has been allowed to open, you are not required to do so at this point in time. However, if you are opening, please make sure you have appropriate signage and are able to follow all of the provincial guidelines as well as those outlined above in Ontario’s We Are Golf protocols to ensure a safe environment for your staff, golfers, and the general public from the spread of COVID-19.
Golf being allowed to open is great news for Ontarians who have been looking for a safe way to physical distance while getting outside. It will be a big boost to our collective mental health as well and will help kickstart the economic recovery in Ontario. Having said that, it is very important that we get this right! We must all commit to adhering to these guidelines to ensure that we provide a safe environment.
We will continue to send you updates if more information becomes available. Thank you and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Executive DirectorGolf Ontariomkelly@gao.ca
Regional DirectorNational Golf Course Owners Association Canada (NGCOA)
|Melanie van der Hoop
Executive DirectorProfessional Golfers’ Association of Ontario (PGA of Ontario)
Ontario Golf Superintendents’ Association (OGSA)
Ontario Branch President
Canadian Society of Club Managers (CSCM)
May 1, 2020 UPDATE
Ontario Government Tells Golf Courses to Prepare to Open
In light of the recent announcements by Premier Ford, we wanted to give you a quick update on what we have been doing to continue to push for the re-opening of golf courses.
Further to the announcement by Premier Ford of the ‘Framework for Reopening Our Province’, an announcement came out today allowing select seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects to open on May 4. Golf courses, although not yet able to open, were included with the following statement … “Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public”. This is encouraging and we hope is an indication that the ability to open is coming soon.
Ontario’s We Are Golf partners (Golf Ontario, the NGCOA, PGA of Ontario, OGSA, and CSCM-ON) have continued to work very closely together to communicate a clear plan for golf’s return within a safe and healthy environment. Golf is naturally aligned to the principles of safe social distancing, and this is why, along with today’s announcement, we remain very hopeful that the opening of golf courses is coming very soon.
Two weeks ago, Ontario’s We Are Golf partners submitted a letter to Premier Doug Ford, and each member of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee. A follow up letter went out today, and both letters outlined what a clear path to safe golf could look like for Ontario, and that we strongly recommend that golf courses be one of the first industries to open for business.
We are excited about the announcement from the government asking courses to prepare to get ready. Please be assured that Ontario’s We Are Golf partners are working in a unified fashion to help get golf courses open on behalf of the entire golf industry.
April 21, 2020
Ontario’s We Are Golf Partners Working on your Behalf
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a time of unprecedented uncertainty and change in recent weeks and we hope you are managing well through these challenging times.
Further to the announcement by Premier Ford that the State of Emergency for Ontario would be extended through to May 12th, you may be wondering what the Ontario golf industry is doing on your behalf.
With the recent creation of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, the Government of Ontario has clearly indicated a focus on developing an action plan for economic recovery. At the same time, Ontario’s We Are Golf partners (Golf Ontario, the NGCOA, PGA of Ontario, OGSA, and CSCM-ON) have been working very closely together to develop a clear plan for golf’s return within a safe and healthy environment. Golf is naturally aligned to the principles of safe social distancing, and with some key precautions, can provide Ontarians with some much-needed exercise, mental stimulation, and safe social time with family or friends. We believe these principles align well with the role of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee.
Last week, Ontario’s We Are Golf partners submitted a letter to Premier Doug Ford, and each member of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee. This letter outlined what a clear path to safe golf could look like for Ontario, and also highlighted key economic factors which help to illustrate the importance of the golf industry for the province.
The clear goal is to ensure that golf courses are among the first allowable activities to open for business when economic recovery strategies are put in place and stay at home guidelines start to be lifted in Ontario.
Rest assured that Ontario’s We Are Golf partners are working in a unified fashion to deliver the appropriate messaging to our government bodies on behalf of the entire golf industry
April 6, 2020
A message from PGA Champion Corey Conners
UPDATE: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
March 27, 2020
We are all in this together
I wanted to take the opportunity to talk directly, and authentically, to each and every one of you to share my thoughts on Golf Ontario’s decisions in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Hopefully my message was helpful in sharing our stance on many of our upcoming activities. If you are not able to watch it or need more context, the rest of this note will provide that.
The COVID-19 challenge continues to evolve extremely rapidly. Since our last update on March 13, there have been many significant developments in the fight against this virus, including:
- Postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, virtual closing of the Canada-US border, and the CDC advising against gatherings of 50 or more people for the next 8 weeks
- The announcement yesterday by the government of Ontario that they have mandated the closure of all non-essential workplaces
We continue to closely monitor the rapidly changing developments and to try and make the right decisions for the health and safety of not only our organization but also for all of our stakeholders as well.
With this in mind, since our last update of March 16, we have taken the following actions:
- We have postponed the Jr. Boys and Jr. Girls Spring Classic events
- We have postponed the Ada McKenzie and the Ontario-Michigan Senior Matches
- We have postponed the Men’s Better-Ball Championship
- We have postponed the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame Induction ceremony
- We have also temporarily suspended the process for registrations for any qualifiers.
We also know that things can change daily, if not hourly. Our teams have been working tirelessly to re-work our Championship schedule as new information comes available, and we will continue to closely evaluate our other upcoming Championships to determine the appropriate course of action. Golf Ontario is committed to continuing to communicate these changes in a timely and transparent manner.
We are all in this together and believe golf is well positioned to emerge and thrive when the time is right for Canadians to return to recreational normalcy.
Mike Kelly, PGA
Executive Director, Golf Ontario
UPDATE: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
March 25, 2020
Golf Ontario stands together with the other NAGA and provincial WE ARE GOLF partners in supporting the following statement
UPDATE: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
March 16, 2020
This is an update on the actions Golf Ontario has taken with respect to concerns over the COVID-19 and to assure you that Golf Ontario is doing everything we can to support our stakeholders through this difficult time. Emails have gone out with much of this information already to many of our key stakeholder groups.
As an organization, we want to play our part in flattening our communities curve of exposure to the virus and put in place new precautionary measures while we make decision informed by the latest science-based information.
There are new developments and information coming forward daily, and some in cases hourly (i.e. school closures, LPGA/PGA TOUR postponement of events, US-Europe travel restrictions and NBA/NHL/MLB postponement of its season along with regular updates and mitigating precautions from health and government officials, etc.). We
continue to update our policies and evaluate our operational activities.
Update on Activities
Golf Ontario has an internal team meeting regularly to discuss this evolving situation and to make wise decisions.
- The development of contingency plans, both for operational and for risk mitigation purposes.
- Regular consult with Golf Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee Chief Medical Officer and the Ontario Ministry of Sport.
- Monitoring updates and identified precautions from national and local health organizations including Health Canada and Toronto Public Health.
- Encouraging all staff and volunteers to practice precautions, especially identified travel precautions which include continuing to monitor one’s own health, practice social distancing and hand washing, and to contact a health professional should they develop any symptoms
Golf Ontario Precautionary Measures Implemented Thus Far:
- Taking the lead from Golf Canada, we have cancelled all business travel until at least April 6
- Any personal travel outside of Canada by any staff to be reported to Golf Ontario HR including over the upcoming March break.
- Work from home precautions for staff. We have mandated that all staff work from home between March 16 and April 5th.
- We will also be mandating that all staff in-person meetings that have been scheduled be transitioned to conference calls or postponed if necessary
In consultation with the South Carolina Golf Association and the Canadian Olympic Committee Chief Medical Officer, we have made the decision to cancel the Can-Am matches scheduled for next week in Myrtle Beach.
There are a number of Rules Exams and World Handicap Seminars as well as Officials Days on the calendar. In the short term, we will not be delivering those in person and are working with our various partners to determine the best method of delivering these sessions. Options may include: a) delivering some of the sessions by way of webinars or videos; or b) postponing some or all of the sessions. We will keep you informed of any changes to delivery methods or dates as we make these decisions. Many of these meetings may involve our facilities directly. We trust that you understand the need to adjust these meeting plans during this challenging time.
Upcoming Championship Season
Golf Ontario is proactively monitoring the situation and will gauge potential future decisions regarding our 2020 Championship season on confirmed information as the situation evolves in the weeks to come.