(Capital News file photo)

Kelowna golf clubs close after brief grace period during COVID-19 pandemic

The sport’s positive social distancing rules are no longer enough to keep courses open

There was a grace period last week where Okanagan golf courses were being positively exploited for their isolation-friendly features during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But with the number of cases in B.C. passing 470, local golf courses are making the hard decision to join almost all group-based businesses to close indefinitely to continue to help flatten the curve of COVID-19.

“We didn’t want to push the envelope,” said Kelowna Golf and Country Club general manager David Walker.

“It’s very unfortunate, but that’s the nature of the creature we’re all dealing with here. We’re trying to do what’s right and what health officials advise and the only way we could do that is to close the golf course.”

READ MORE: All golf courses in the province should be closed to prevent virus spreading, British Columbia Golf says

Walker said that the 120 staff members they bring on for prime season will be without work while the course is closed; the latest addition to the growing amount of non-working Canadians because of coronavirus-caused closures and cancellations.

“That’s definitely the hardest part in all this,” he said.

“I can only imagine the ramifications for courses throughout the valley and the economic impacts. All of Canada and the world are in the same boat.”

READ MORE: Trudeau: More ‘stringent measures’ will come if Canadians ignore COVID-19 guidelines

Throughout the Okanagan, golf courses are following suit with closing their doors or postponing their opening dates.

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