Golf courses around the globe are taking precautions to help “flatten the curve” and stop the spread of COVID-19.
For some, that means enacting more stringent social distancing measures, eliminating common touchpoints and prohibiting multi-person cart usage, among various other alternatives. Others still, whether by order of the local government or by choice, are opting to shut down their courses.
Still, intrepid golfers everywhere seem to be looking for a way to get a few swings in. Over the last few weeks, golfers were ignoring closed signs and playing on in the Boston area, and last week, three golfers were arrested after crossing state lines in order to play a round of golf.
In an effort to stamp out the golf bug while the pandemic rages on, a city in Canada is putting a hefty fine in place for those willing to risk theirs and others’ well-being by playing on closed golf courses.
The city of Brampton, Ontario, outside of Toronto, has begun fining citizens between $500 and $100,000 for not properly obeying social distancing protocols or ignoring closures by order of the mayor, which includes golf courses, playgrounds, picnic shelters, outdoor sports facilities and outdoor fitness equipment, including sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, according to Toronto.CityNews.ca.
The mayor of Brampton in Canada has said anyone caught playing golf on a public course during the lockdown will face a fine of up to £57,000 (100,000 Canadian dollars) https://t.co/F878ZYqGXt
— The Golf Business (@thegolfbusiness) April 6, 2020
“These fines will ensure that those that disrespect the advice of public health to keep us all safe – there will be consequences for those actions,” Mayor Patrick Brown said.
About 60 miles away in Brantford, Ontario, a similar yet more specific warning was issued to citizens who considered even carrying a golf club with them on a leisurely walk around one of the cities two golf courses.
The @CityBtfdGolf courses are not screwing around: Maximum fine of $100,000 if you are found walking on the course with even a single club.
Stay home folks. I love golf, but it’s not worth it. pic.twitter.com/ku9qVYbJ3Z
— CurlingGeek (@curlinggeek) April 3, 2020
“With the nice weather approaching, we will all feel the urge to play golf,” a statement read. “Please be advised that City Bylaw Officers, along with staff, will be patrolling and monitoring both golf facilities. While golf courses will still be open for walking, as long as the recommended social distancing practices are adhered to, playing golf will not be allowed.
“The City is taking the current situation very seriously, and as such, the maximum fine for those found in violation of playing golf, which includes walking with even one club, will be up to $100,000.”