The Town of St. Paul is submitting a proposal to the province in hopes to open their golf course at some point this season.
Right now, golf is deemed a non-essential service, which means golf courses are closed, as Alberta’s public health orders remain in effect.
The Town owns the St. Paul Golf Course and is waiting to hear whether mounting pressure on the province to allow golfing could reverse their decision.
“I deem that we can run,” said Mayor Maureen Miller on The Morning After.
“They [staff] have assured us that this golf course could run differently, of course, and make arrangements that we can still abide by the rules with Alberta Health Services recommendations. And I think that we can put a proposal together,” she said.
St. Paul CAO Kim Heyman said some of their planned provisions would be to have only one person per cart, sanitized carts before and after each they’re used, only two golfers in a group at a time with physical distancing, and greater staggering of tee-times.
The province has indicated to Heyman that they won’t just open St. Paul’s course, it would be a sweeping decision for all courses.
“They came down with an order saying no, all golf courses are closed and that applies to everybody, you can’t ask for an exception. However, we’ve also been told that there there’s a lot of pressure on the government.
“What we’ve done is we have submitted something to public health in the event that they do say, okay, with conditions, if you guys put in place a proper plan, you can open. We are ready to go,” said Heyman.
“Everything that we can think of that would minimize the need for people to be closer than six feet, to touch surfaces that weren’t sanitized, and to make sure that they follow the rules.”
An online petition in Alberta has seen over 48,000 people say the province should exempt golf closures from closing.
It’s been a divisive debate between those saying it provides physical activity and can be done at a distance, to others arguing that is not an essential activity.
Regardless of the province’s decision, which has no timeline, St. Paul wants to be ready if they do get the go-ahead, even later in the season.
“It’ll be up to Alberta Health Services at this point if they consider that a viable proposal as well as an essential service. And if we can convince that and have it safe–[for] the safety of our community, and those visiting our community–then hopefully, that can happen,” said Miller.