It was a soggy start to the 2020 golf season, but light rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of members who got to play the back nine at Smithers Golf and Country today.
Ken Herman and Cyndy Hooper had the honour of striking the first balls of the season for the men and women respectively at 9:24 a.m. on the 10th tee. They both made the fairway.
The course is playing about how one would expect at this time of year, long and soft. There is casual water on some of the fairways and they are patchy.
Most of the greens are also patchy in places, but they all look like they are going to shape up nicely as the season progresses. They are, understandably playing very slow.
There are also several restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Booking tee times and paying greens fees are being carried out through the pro shop window. Scorecards and pencils have been placed on a table outside. A hand sanitizer has been installed on the wall outside.
Golfers are permitted, one at a time into the pro shop, if they wish to make purchases of merchandise.
Signs grace the first and 10th tee boxes proclaiming: “If you are sick or have travelled outside the country in the last 14 days, you are not permitted to golf.”
The benches at various tee boxes around the course have been taped off and ball washers and water coolers have been removed.
There are no rakes in the bunkers and the cups are installed upside down in the holes to prevent removal of the pins.
The practice green, driving range and locker rooms are closed.
The restaurant is open for take-out.
Also, only three players are allowed per group and motorized carts, while allowed, are restricted to one person, unless the riders are members of the same household.
Despite all of that, members, grateful to be back on the course were not complaining.