A message from Golf Canada CEO Laurence ApplebaumWritten by Laurence Applebaum, Golf Canada CEO
To All Golf Canada Members and Member Clubs,
Along with the rest of the globe, Canada is dealing with a debilitating health crisis with COVID-19.
Golf Canada is committed to fostering a safe sport environment. Together with our partners at the Provincial Golf Associations, that commitment includes the health and well-being of golfers as well as every Canadian in the communities where we live and play.
I think constantly about those personally affected by the virus including their families, our most vulnerable citizens and the incredible health care workers confronting the pandemic on the front lines. I worry about the impact to the golf community—owners, operators, PGA of Canada professionals, club managers, superintendents, industry stakeholders, fans and supporters of our championships and every Canadian golf enthusiast that just wants to get out and play. I also applaud the superintendents and their teams, who are taking the strictest precautions to maintain our essential golf properties during this crisis.
Golf Canada fully supports the recommendations and guidelines of Health Canada, the World Health Organization and regional public health experts to prevent the community spread of COVID-19. Currently, most provinces have enacted complete suspensions on all recreational activities and gatherings, including golf facilities. Many clubs throughout Canada have, on their own initiative, instituted temporary suspensions of operations for the wellness of their staff, their golfers and their community at large. I know that those not yet mandated to close are taking every precaution and I respect the pressure felt by those with that immense responsibility.
Golf Canada continues to evaluate all aspects of our business and take measures to protect our athletes, staff, coaches, partners and volunteers. Severe cost controls and risk mitigation protocols have been enacted and we are in constant consultation with provincial, national and international experts along with our member clubs to gather the information we need to make informed and responsible decisions through the crisis.
You will find a toolkit of information here in our COVID-19 Resource Page, which we hope will serve as a reference for everything that can be done today and, in the future, when it is safe to return to golf. I am incredibly proud of the work done by our team, our partners and global stakeholders to put this compendium of information together for all golfers.
This is a turbulent moment and Golf Canada is committed to supporting the golf community through these challenges to the best of our ability. I am encouraged to see the resiliency of our industry—people and facilities engaging to share ideas and best practices, further professional development and provide levity and support for each other through this difficult period.
When the time is right for Canadians to return to recreational normalcy, golf will be well positioned to emerge and thrive, with possible attributes recommended by the appropriate authorities including physical distancing, exaggerated tee-times, personal protective equipment, and the many precautionary health measures that club operators will have in place. I also know that when that recovery comes, courses will be ready to safely welcome golfers back to the tee. Golf will bring us closer together.
For now, as we all make our way through a time of unprecedented uncertainty, let’s commit to what is in our control—to take every precaution to ensure our physical and mental health; to protect our families, staff, volunteers and golfers; and to rally as a community to keep each other safe.
Chief Executive Officer