It’s the day that the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Course has been waiting for, and as it turns out, local golfers were eager for it, too.
The course, and others throughout the region and the province, opened for play Friday, the day that was announced through the provincial government’s Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan.
The first tee time was at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning, and thanks to the nice weather during the Victoria Day long weekend, and the eagerness of the public to hit the links, there was a steady stream of players,
“We have a very booked tee sheet Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday,” said head pro and general manager Amanda Minchin. “Of course, opening weekend is on a long weekend, and people haven’t been able to play golf, haven’t been able to do a lot of things outside.”
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were booked up in the mornings, but there were openings in the afternoons and evenings.
The maintenance crew was busy this week, ensuring the course is ready for play. Minchin believes Woodlawn looked great for opening day.
“I’m lucky enough that I get to come to work here every day, even though we were closed, looking down hole No. 1 and No. 9, it looks awesome. It’s greening up here. Obviously there hasn’t been any traffic on it, there hasn’t been cart traffic, and the greens look awesome.”
As has been documented previously, operations will be different at the start of the season, although not to the degree that was expected. Instead of 20-minute intervals between tee times initially announced in Re-Open Saskatchewan, it will be 12 minutes, which isn’t too bad for Woodlawn considering they typically have nine minutes between tee offs.
“It was going to be very tough for any golf course to operate with 20-minute tee times. Their hands were going to be tied, and you weren’t going to be able to accommodate your season pass holders, your members and the general public.”
They have also found out their driving range and putting greens could open on May 15. There will be stalls set up on the driving range, and social distancing rules will be in effect. Range golf balls will be sanitized.
Men’s nights and women’s nights can also take place, although tournaments cannot. A date hasn’t been set for men’s and women’s night to resume at Woodlawn, since those have shotgun starts.
Their clubhouse is closed to the public, although food can be delivered onto the course, and they offer curbside pickup.
“Golfers will have the chance … to call in on holes eight and 17 to pre-order from our takeout menu, if they want. We’ll have that ready. They can still grab drinks and beer, and we’ll be following all of the rules inside, and there will be very limited access to the inside. They’ll be just allowed inside the deck door.”
There will be just one player allowed in a power cart, unless the two players are from the same household. Golfers aren’t to touch the pins, and once the golf ball hits the pin, the golfer’s play on that hole is over.
As for green fee players, people are encouraged to pre-pay over the phone, but if they can’t, they can pay once they arrive. Payment outside will be preferred.
Walk-ons won’t be allowed now, either.
A greeter will be on site to answer people’s questions.
Woodlawn is excited to have the season underway, and they look forward to seeing the public, both members and green fee players. And they’re looking forward to the season ahead.