The Spallumcheen Golf Course will open its 27 holes of play to members only Tuesday, April 14. (Morning Star - file photo)

COVID-19: Some North Okanagan golf courses opening

Some courses opening for members only, public courses also open, some are waiting, some are closed

Some North Okanagan golf courses have opened for the season. Some are waiting. Some are still closed.

Among the first to open were the Coldstream Golf Course, off Highway 6 heading to Lumby, and Birchdale Golf Course in Grindrod. Both are nine-hole courses and both are maintaining social distancing rules.

At Coldstream, the honour system is in place for paying for a round as the clubhouse is closed, and the course has installed cups about an inch above ground so the ball doesn’t go in and nobody has to pull out or touch the flags.

At Birchdale, you must book a tee time at 250-838-7740 to allow the course adequate distancing. The course opened Monday and said they had about “four or five people” on the course.

The Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club is opening its 27-holes to members only on Tuesday, April 14, and will stay that way for the time being. Again, the course has social distancing rules in effect.

Armstrong’s Royal York Golf Course plans to open its nine-hole track before the end of April.

“Be assured that when we do open, strict protocols we be in place to protect you and our staff,” said Todd York, spokesperson for the course. “It is our belief that with the proper protocols in place golf can serve as an acceptable exercise option, affording a measure of stress relief and emotional support.”

The Rise Golf Course in Vernon hopes to open Friday, April 17, weather permitting, according to its website.

“Health and safety are our top priorities,” the Rise golf director Chad Scott said. “Fortunately, golf courses are well-positioned to be one of the very few activities that can easily adhere to physical distancing while providing some much-needed fresh air, sunlight, exercise, mental stimulation and safe time with family and friends.”

Only golfers with bookings may visit the Rise.

No walk-ons or inquiry visits are allowed, and all golfers in booking must provide their name, email, phone and credit card number. This will allow the course to charge green fees without having to interact with golf shop staff. Bookings that have only one player with completed information will have the entire groups fees charged to him or her. Full rules can be found here.

The course, driving range and restaurant at the Vernon Golf and Country Club are closed, though its website said a tentative opening date for members only will be Friday, April 24, “if deemed safe to do so.”

“The board’s decision was a difficult one and not unanimous,” said the course. “A strict set of guidelines will be developed prior to this opening to assist in continuing to physical and social distance.”

Everything at Predator Ridge Resort remains closed, said director of golf Cameron Craig on the resort’s website.

“We hope to be back in the earliest part of summer,” he said.

Hillview Golf Course’s 18-hole executive track in Vernon is closed until further notice, and that includes the restaurant and driving range.

The Cherryville Golf Course (formerly River Ridge) hopes to open sometime this week.

Highlands Golf Short-Game Excellence in Coldstream could not be reached. Their answering machine said they are closed.

READ MORE: Falkland Stampede postponed due to COVID-19

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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