By Justin Seward
Despite the late start to season due to COVID-19, Redcliff’s Riverview Golf Club has had great year so far.
“It going very well,” said Todd Read, Riverview’s general manager.
“(We had) a late start and then we had a lot of restrictions initially, that caused some challenges with tee times being 20 minutes a part. Now we’re down to 10 minutes and tee sheets have been very full up to late. Now we’re into the mid part of summer and people are doing other things now, so it’s slowing down slightly. But it’s been an exceptional year.”
Read says there were no challenges of golfers obeying the restrictions
“It’s about education,” he said.
“We implemented a whole bunch of procedures to ensure members and non-members are provided with the appropriate information and we had marshals on the course to abide by that. But really, with very few exceptions, people did a wonderful job.”
Initial restrictions included: no touching of the flag stick, standing two metres apart one person per cart, no rakes in the bunkers, the number people in the pro-shop and the clubhouse, hand washing, showing up 15 minutes for a tee time and no congregating on the putting greens, no ball washers and benches on the course.
“They have relaxed significantly now,” said Read.
“We still have a lot of rules in place just to ensure peoples’ safety is met. There’s nothing really new other then now the restaurant is legally allowed to open at full capacity with restrictions in place, with regards to six feet in between tables. On the golf course, we’re allowed to have two people on a cart.”
Read said the restrictions have hampered tournaments as well as the course has not ran a single shotgun start this year.
“Even though we’re allowed 200 people in a gathering outside, there are still some challenges with shotguns and we have chose to not go that way this year,” he said.
People have been extremely understanding, he said.
“I think they’re just happy to be out golfing,” he said.
The golf course is in the absolute best shape I’ve ever seen it in. It’s just an excellent experience for everybody.”
The course’s membership age base is “very high” according Read, compared to other courses and there were a few past members that consequently chose not to get memberships this season for fear of contracting COVID.
“We lost quite a few there,” he said.
“And there are the job-related issues that people had to suffer, so they were unable to pick up a membership. On the whole, we’re down a little bit, but it was a lot better than it was starting out at.”