'What the heck is winter golf?' How one company plans to keep its courses open through the winter
KITCHENER -- Most golfers have been watching for closing dates at their favourite courses this season, and with a light dusting of snow overnight in Waterloo Region, some may be considering storing their clubs sooner than later.
One golf company in Waterloo Region is hoping you'll reconsider.
GolfNorth announced on Wednesday morning that it would be keeping its courses open through the winter, in hopes that golfers will layer up and hit the links even through the white fluffy stuff.
"You've probably heard the rumours that this year GolfNorth is talking about doing winter golf and you're thinking, 'what the heck is winter golf?'" a company spokesperson said in a video posted to Instagram.
The decision comes as many people begin to stock up for outdoor winter activities as COVID-19 cases surge across Ontario. Golf courses also got a late start to their spring season in 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The winter variation of the sport is advertised as safe, fun and COVID-19-friendly exercise. Here's how it'll work.
Protecting the golf courses
The Instagram post said that the company's priority is protecting their courses while ensuring people can still enjoy them safely.
Golfers who hit the winter links won't be hitting off the tees, the company said. Instead, they should look for a stake and tee off from behind it.
There will be no power carts—courses will offer pull carts only.
Pins will be outside and in front of the greens, so people will putt on fairways instead.
"Whatever you do, don't go on the greens," the person reminded viewers.
Protecting your game
If you're golfing in the snow, using a white ball is a bad idea. Bring brightly coloured balls to help you find them more easily.
The company also said you can bring fewer clubs and if you're worried about damaging them, they have mats available for people to hit off of.
It's important to note that not every facility will be open and every course will be different; some will have snack bars open, some will have pro-shops open.
A total of eight courses will be open under the GolfNorth brand.
How to book a tee time
Anyone interested in booking a tee time to try out winter golf can do so on GolfNorth's website.
"For traditional GolfNorth customers, you need to know when you do book online, we're going to ask you for a new profile," VP Mike Turner said. "We're launching a new booking system, so don't be alarmed that you have to create a profile before booking a tee time."
Turner added that course calendars will have information on which courses will be open for which day.