Madawaska Golf owner ready to swing, encourages cautious approach

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

ARNPRIOR – Madawaska Golf Club owner Rick Munro says golf’s unique play makes it a sport easier to return to in the time of COVID-19.

Like all West Carleton business owners, Munro can’t wait to get going again. But he also understands to maintain rules like physical distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“The comments of the Ontario government put a damper on my excitement for a confirmed opening date,” Munro released in a statement yesterday (April 29). “As I read about courses opening in other Provinces and States I quickly regained my enthusiasm. I share the concern regarding the well-being and the health of others and understand we don’t want to lose any ground we have gained, as we all work to flatten the curve.”

Munro has been following the COVID-19 news closely.

“I applaud the government bodies at all levels, the health care workers for their self-sacrifice, and efforts of all those involved in the food industry and those volunteering and keeping us safe at this unprecedented time,” he said.

As restrictions are loosened and courses begin to dry-up and firm-up from their winter hibernation, Munro believes golf is one of the few activities that can happen while still respecting physical distancing guidelines.

“Golf is unique,” Munro said. “The playing surface is generally more than 100 acres of land outside in fresh air, broken up by trees, bunkers and other features. When played in the suggested group size of four or less and spaced from 100 to 300 yards apart, golf lends itself to being very receptive to the social distancing protocol. When combined with concerned management and regulations, golf provides a great opportunity to relax and exercise for a few hours.”

Munro believes the fact golf is already self-governed when it comes to rules and scorekeeping only enforces the fact players will respect the COVID-19 rules as well.

“Golfers will adhere to the restriction of social distancing and accept required changes designed to protect them and others from getting a deadly virus, most important to those over 70,” Munro said.

Munro says staff already stay far away from golfers during a round and phrases such as “find your own” may become popular on the course. Perhaps even after all restrictions are loosened. He says a no touch protocol can be easily implemented.

“I understand the government’s position, the opinions of non-golfers,” Munro said. “I believe in the phased-in approach and I look forward to hearing more about the plan from Premiere Ford. His resolve has been firm and unwavering. I believe he understands the problem and is working daily to resolve all the concerns that are within his control.”

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