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TOP STORIES 06.

12.

A Message From NAGA - Alberta's President

Golf Bodies Band Toget her To Rewrit e ?Non-Essent ial Business?Classificat ion

14. Golf In The Age Of COVID-19

Eight Golfer's Do's& Don'ts

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24. PGA Virt ual Golf Show Brings The Great Deals To You

62. August a Nat ional Announces US$2 Million Donat ion To Coronavirus Response Effort s


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cov er

st or y BY GORD M ONTGOM ERY/ INSIDE GOLF

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Golf Bodies Band Toget her To Rewrit e ?Non-Essent ial Business? Classificat ion By generat ing billions of dollars in business each year, t hose involved in t he golf indust ry in Albert a who are being impact ed by t he COVID-19 virus pandemic closure want t o emphasize t hey are far more t han a ?non-essent ial? service. That?s the word coming out of the provincial golf bodies, the PGA of Alberta and Alberta Golf through a single voice, and why they are working to change minds in government during these uncertain times. When Alberta?s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw (left) declared golf as an unsafe physical PG 06 | APR 2020

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Northern Alberta’s premier public 18-hole golf course With views of the Wapiti River valley and glimpses of natural wildlife, this 18-hole public course is as picturesque as it is challenging. Located 4 km south of Grande Prairie in the beautiful Peace Country of Northern Alberta. Contact us: 780.538.4333 golf@thedunes.ca

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NAGA Alberta spokesman Bruce McAllister (right) commented in a phone interview on April 13, ?There is no question that COVID-19 is a viral pandemic but we have two other pandemics on our hands. One is a mental health pandemic. Every social agency person that deals with anxiety, depression, suicide, domestic violence, all of them say, ?We?ve got a mental health pandemic coming.?

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We?re trying to let the Alberta government know we can be part of the solution...

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activity during a press conference on April 9, she set off a firestorm of sorts that directly affects the well-being of thousands of full- and part-time employees in the industry. So, NAGA Alberta (National Allied Golf Association) brought on a spokesman to front their efforts to hopefully become reinstated as something more than a simple game.


BRINGING

BACKTHEGAME

WEALL LOVE BY ROBERT ROUSSELLE W ITH BRUCE M CA LLISTER

A M essage From NAGA - Albert a's President If it was not for Covid-19, the golf world would be stretching out, dusting off the clubs, preparing for another year on the links, and getting ready to play the game we all love. These days our excitement has been tempered with uncertainty as we wonder if and when we will be golfing this year. Covid-19 has thrown a big-time shank into our best laid plans, but there might be a Tiger-like miracle recovery shot on the horizon. Maybe golf is exactly what we need. Maybe opening courses, albeit with new measures and thoughtful protocol to keep us all safe will help kickstart our economy and restore our collective sanity. In the following column, NAGA-AB President Robert Rousselle tells us why hitting the fairways might be just what the doctor ordered... PG 10 | APR 2020

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The smell is in the air. The freshly cut grass from the first tee box - you can almost hear the symphony on the driving range - where golfers, pent up for the winter months are working the rust out of their swings and kink out of their backs. Oh springtime, it is like Christmas for golfers, but this year we are all wondering if Santa is about to leave coal in all our stockings. Those smells and sounds we love so much are not here yet, but hopefully they will be. Covid-19 has us all a little unhinged, and rightly so. The virus that has the world on edge is real and we are right to take the necessary precautions to keep everybody safe, especially our elderly and the most vulnerable. It has us wondering if, and when we will be playing golf this year. Now, more than ever, golf may be precisely what we need. Here are three reasons why. #1 - Our ment al healt h Get t ing out side, packing in a lit t le exercise and going for a nice long walk might just be one of t he best t hings in t he world we can do for ourselves and PG 11 | APR 2020

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ot hers right now. Did you know exercise is one of the most under-utilized antidepressants in the globe? Nothing feels better than getting a little fresh air and getting the heart pumping in the great outdoors. Mental health experts around the globe are cautioning us that a mental health pandemic might be the next health issue on the horizon. Being cooped up, while necessary in our new self-isolating world can lead to far bigger problems down the road. Golf is one of the few sports you can play where you can stay a comfortable distance from everybody else and enjoy the best of what nature has to offer in the great outdoors. #2 - We can be part of t he economic solut ion and kickst art our economy. Did you know t hat t he golf indust ry in Albert a alone employs 43,000 people and cont ribut es 2.4 CLI CK billion dollars annually t o HERE TO t he economy? Even if we READ THE do not open with full staff, REST OF THIS that is a lot of people who PG 12 | APR 2020

ARTICLE


OP/ ED

THEFINAL

WORD BY JEFF SUTHERLA ND

Golf In The Age Of COVID 19 To say these are unprecedented times applies just as much to golf as to anything else...

A CONFUSING LANDSCAPE As I writ e t his piece, golfers are t eeing it up at more t han a few courses across BC while ot hers are complet ely shut t ered. In Albert a, a single quest ion from one report er has effect ively shut down all PG 14 | APR 2020

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courses before they opened. Golfers in Ontario are cutting through chain-link fences to sneak on courses with the police being called. Local governments are disallowing play while their provincial counterparts remain surprisingly mute on the subject. To say the rules are inconsistent would be an understatement. THE REGIONAL ASPECT TO THE OUTBREAK It appears the situation is different in different parts of the country. The curve in BC appears to have flattened. Alberta also appears headed in the same direction. Ontario and Quebec are a different story and the serious challenges they face will likely persist for at least weeks, if not months. THE ECONOMIC SITUATION There is a limit to how long the federal government can send cheques before we will need to see businesses running and CLI CK everyone back working... HERE TO June 1st to July 1st seem READ THE to be dates commonly REST OF THIS being referenced. But PG 16 | APR 2020

ARTICLE


CoVID- 19 BY JEFF SUTHERLA ND, PUBLISHER OF INSIDE GOLF

Eight Golfer Do's & Don't s IMAGE COURTESY: FACILITY

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PG 18 | APR 2020

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In this new environment, golfers should be following a new set of etiquette / safety rules. Golf courses have been coming up with procedures and protocols to make golfing as safe as possible. From only allowing one rider in each power cart to removing ball washers, course operators are fully engaged in the safety process. But golfers also have a role to play, to ensure that playing golf remains as safe as possible. People can be asymptomatic and still be able to pass on the virus and golfers must assume that everyone they come in contact could be sick. Taking it from booking your tee time to shaking hands on the 18th green (NOT), here are eight do's & don'ts. The first two are "golfy" versions of the rules that you should be following everywhere in any case...

#1 The "Two Club Lengt h" Rule Stay 2 metres or a couple of drivers apart. This is PG 19 | APR 2020

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Canada COM PILED BY IG EDITORS

A thoughtful PGA OF from CANADA message current CEO KEVIN @pgaofcanada THISTLE'S CEO and former M ESSAGE #PGAofAB member Kevin OF UNITY Thistle.

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news FROM

t hepga of

Click to see vid PG 20 | APR 2020


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news f r om

t hepga of

al ber t a BY JEFF SUTHERLA ND

PGA Virt ual Golf Show Brings The Great Deals To You While attending the shows in Edmonton and Calgary this year may not have been possible, the amazing show specials are still available... CALGARY / S. ALBERTA SPECIALS - Play Golf Calgary - $260 for $300 on our Play Golf Calgary cards PG 24 | APR 2020

- The Canal at Delacour Receive 1st Round FREE Get 20% off the posted Green fee rate for the season Receive 2nd Round FREE (after Sept 15th) $249+Tax - Modern Golf Calgary Coaching Special - Strathmore GC - Purchase an equity share from CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


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Strathmore for only $3500 and receive your 2020 dues absolutely FREE! Apple Creek GC - Weekday Golf $49 +gst includes cart Nanton GC - Annual Membership Fairmont Banff Springs GC (Specials) (Canadian Par 3 Championship) (Banff Springs Women?s Open) Crowsnest Pass Golf Course- Stay and Play from $129 Foothills Golf Group ? Driver?s Pass Sturgeon Valley- Green Fee Passes

EDMONTON / N. ALBERTA SPECIALS - The Ranch G&CC - $50 off 10 round golf package - Edmonton Petroleum G&CC - Highlands GC - Membership Promotions RESORTS / COURSES ACROSS CANADA / PNW - Golf Kelowna - Stay & Play - Golden Golf Club - 2 for 1 Green Fees, valid Sunday to Thursday, enter #golfgolden PG 25| APR 2020

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in the subject line to receive your voucher Golf Prince Edward Island Tourism - Save $50 Per Person Town House Pump Group Montana - Stay & Play St Eugene Stay & Play - Use Code 20GOLF20 Osoyoos Golf Club - Stay and Play

OTHER GOLF PRODUCTS/ SERVICES - Golf Canada Card - SAVE OVER 35 %. Regular $ 64.95 Golf show special $40 USE PROMO CODE: golfshow - KNKT Belts - Get a free Cedar Leather with any purchase - Par2Pro - $100 off your purchase of any complete golf simulation package - Global Golf - 20% off your purchase. Use Code Show20 (expires May 3rd, 2020) - Bonnell Golf Distributions Inc -Spray off Bug Spray


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Gol f 's best

Mov ies BY EM ILY HA A S/ GOLF.COM

Now is the perfect time to catch self-quarantining. Check out the up and re-watch your favourite below list, grab some popcorn, golf movies and shows. We?ve and start bingeing! gone through and listed the best ones by streaming service to See full details HERE help you fill your time while PG 28 | APR 2020


32 TURF LINE NEWS


WESTERN CANADA TURFGRASS ASSOCIATION 43


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The St inger Ball Flight Flat t ens The Curve optimal cases for managing Covid 19 cases and interpreted each as golf ball flights. The worst case curve is depicted as a ball that travels high and ends up way short of the green while the lower trajectory shot heads straight for the pin. Cunningham originally conceived the graphic just to be a post on Instagram but his design with the slogan "This calls for the low stinger" caught on and they decided to put it on a T-Shirt. Priced at $40 USD, all proceeds from the sales will be donated to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy whose COVID-19 direct relief fund specifically helps the most vulnerable populations in the USA affected by this crisis, including hourly wage workers, the elderly, and those with disabilities. PG 46 | APR 2020


WESTERN CANADA TURFGRASS ASSOCIATION 47


WESTERN CANADA TURFGRASS ASSOCIATION 49


� THEPGAOF

i:z: ALBERTA COMPILED BY IG EDITORS

Sixteen Alberta Professionals Reach Milestone Congratulations to the following sixteen PGA of Alberta members on reaching their 25-Year milestone as a Class A Member of the PGA of Canada in 2020!

All Members were recognized at the PGA of Alberta AGM in March for their outstanding dedication to the PGA of Canada and Golf Industry. The National office will also recognize each with a special certificate. Glenn Boswell (Glencoe G&CC) Shelley Charlton (Pinebrook G&CC) Cameron Code (Edson GC) Bob Davidchuk (Canal at Delacour) Dana Down (Canmore G&CC) Bill Dreger (Canmore G&CC) PG 50 I APR 2020

Shelley Charlton from Pinebrook GC

Judy Forshner (Glencoe G&CC) Rick Gross (PGA of Alberta Member) Jerry Linquist (Lewis Estates GC) Ray Meria (Life Member) Jay Myren (Priddis Greens G&CC) Blair Oka (Blair Oka Golf Academy) Douglas Rowswell (Broadmoor GC) Rick Thompson (Edson GC) Steven Thomson (Glencoe G&CC) John Wilson (Montgomery Glen G

0 Click to see full article


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Can yon M eadow s Pr o Sh op Lau n ch es You Tu be Ch an n el See the first one HERE A great idea by @canyonmeadows in today's environment! Many ways to stay in touch with people during these times. PG 52 | APR 2020

Officially up and running! Tune into our new YouTube channel ?Canyon Meadows Pro Shop? to watch Head Professional @CanyonMatt Matt Freeman kick things off. #adaptordie


Fr inge V IA TW ITTER

PG 56 | APR 2020

LEGO Replica Of August a Nat ional?s 12t h Hole Is Just Amazing

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Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, golf fans are unsure when they'll see the real 12th hole at Augusta National again. In the meantime, this remarkable LEGO recreation of the famed par-3 will have to do. Lou Stagner, a self-professed "golf nut" and "data nerd" who happens to be a great follow on Twitter (Golf Stat Pro) shared the following video of the plastic creation he and his daughter built? and the results are spectacular. Click HERE to see video. PG 58 | APR 2020


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with the differences between provinces, the return to work may occur earlier in some regions than others. It will also likely be different for different industries. A NEW NORMAL IS COMING ... wit h t he differences bet ween provinces, t he Whenever this return to ret urn t o work may work takes place, one occur earlier in some change is guaranteed. regions t han ot hers. Until we have a vaccine, physical distancing will need to continue. Restaurants will need to adapt with seating that is well separated. People in lines will need to keep two metres apart. And courses will have to follow the new guidelines (e.g. online payment, no ball washers, shallow cups, no rakes in bunkers, etc.) with golfers falling in line following physical distancing rules. THE QUESTION OF W HEN While predicting when it will be absolutely safe to golf may be hard, some observations can be made: | APR 2020

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#1 - If the regional differences in the number If it is not OK t o golf of new cases persist, that now, what change in return to golfing need not condit ions would make be simultaneous across it more OK? Zero new the country. cases? Only t en new #2 - If not now, then cases? Over what when? If it is not OK to lengt h of t ime? golf now, what change in conditions would make it more OK? Zero new cases? Only ten new cases? Over what length of time? This may be a policy question but one that bears asking earlier rather than later. THE HEALTH BENEFITS In March, BC's provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry encouraged people to go outside in small family groups saying, ?It is important for us to keep our health and mental health going as well through this.?Walking and biking would conform. Golf being played among friends as well as just family members increases the risk but only marginally.

| APR 2020

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THE OPTICS Golf is not that well understood among the general population. Not everyone gets golf and understands how well it could function under current conditions. This lack of understanding Golf being played certainly does not help in among friends as well making the case for opening as just family the courses. The silence at members increases the provincial level may t he risk but only simply be government, marginally. while understanding its value, not wanting to be seen as promoting or exempting a single outdoor activity / business even though they know it is uniquely positioned to be workable. W HERE DO W E GO FROM HERE? I believe this is an opportunity for golf. A public campaign that talks about safety, health benefits and a return to economic activity that golf can provide would be a timely message, even if only in BC and Alberta. All courses would need to adhere to the already well-defined set of guidelines. Golfers would | APR 2020

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need to be educated on, and reminded of, their responsibilities but fundamentally those responsibilities would be no different than those related to going for a walk in a park.

Bottom line, where do we go from here? In my opinion, for those living in Alberta and BC... onto the golf courses. About t he aut hor: Jeff Sutherland hasbeen a golf journalist aswell aspublisher and president of golf media company, Inside Golf Inc. for the past 27 years. He can be reached at publisher@insidegolf.ca. | APR 2020


ROBERT ROUSELLE - CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12

could be working, making a few dollars for their families, and contributing to the economic revival of our country. Our Prime Minister and Premiers have been speaking about the importance of doing all we can to bounce back quickly from this economic sinkhole we?ve been plunged into. Golf culture has a big role to play. #3 - Because we are t aking unprecedent ed precaut ions t o abide by recommendat ions from medical healt h officials and our government s t o make sure we do t his right . There is a complete list of changes that we will be distributing to facilities but suffice t o say t hey include vit al changes t hat ensure we are put t ing t he safet y of golfers, employees, members, guest s and t he general public first . Roughly 70% of courses are choosing to open in the United States and the great majority are functioning safely with great results and reviews from the public. | APR 2020


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This weekend, when most of us would be glued to our TV sets watching that epic golf tournament, The Masters, let us instead focus on how we can be part of a good news story going forward. Together, we can be part of the solution. The golf industry wants to do our part by creating places for exercise and mental health while serving as a valuable economic force in our province. We can create a safe environment, abide by important health regulations, and work together for our collective good. We hope to see you on the course soon, and when we do, let?s be sure to do our part. Robert Rousselle, President of NAGA-Alberta

About t he aut hor: Robert Rousselle isthe Executive Director of the Professional Golf Association of Alberta and current president of the Alberta chapter of the National Allied Golf Association. He can be reached at robert.rousselle@pgaofalberta.com | APR 2020


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#1 because it should apply everywhere you go... grocery store checkout lines, at work, even in your car coming to the course. Unless the person you are playing with lives in the same house as you, you should travel separately. #2 "Can't Touch That " Everywhere you go, avoid touching any surface that others may touch. Try to go nowhere that others may go. This means not going into the clubhouse and pro shop, not using the washrooms, if at all possible. On the course, that includes tables at the snack shack, pins on the greens, ball washers, your friend's power car, etc. Also, try to work on the habit of not touching your face. And don't think you can protect yourself by wearing a golf glove, it does not work. #3 Book Online Courses are offering online booking options from credit cards to apple pay to paypal. Use them.

| APR 2020

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10 DO'S & DON'TS - CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12

#4 Play W it h People You Know Getting hooked up with someone you don't know is probably not that smart at this point. If they turn out to be sick, it may be difficult for you to be notified... and visa versa. If you are playing with someone you don't know, exchange emails so that if needed, follow-up contact is possible. #5 Bring Everyt hing You Might Need You want to make sure you avoid touching anything you can while at the course. From balls to bottles of water, if you can keep it in your trunk and then just add to your bag, then do so. Don't share as you may just infect someone else.

#6 Don't Arrive Too Early If your tee time is 11AM, try to get there only 15-20 minutes before that. Stay in your car if you get there with more time than that. #7 Minimize Your Warm Up This is one of the situations you can come in contact with people you don't know. Keep your warm up as | APR 2020

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short as you can. Warm up putting should be done bearing in mind the "Two Club Length" rule. If you must use the range, use hand sanitizer on the bucket handle before picking up and only use stalls that have an open spot on BOTH sides. If someone comes to use one of those, either ask them not to or move based on your preference.

#8 Communicat ing W it h Ot hers Not every golfer may be as aware of Golf Do's & Don'ts In The Age of COVID as you. In these times, the mindset should be to educate. Before you tee off, ask those in your foursome whether they or whether anyone else in their household has felt sick recently or may have been exposed to the virus elsewhere. If anyone answers yes, you might be well advised to leave. Otherwise, talk about the "Two Club Length" rule and suggest if they see you breaking it to remind you to keep your distance.... and that you'll be happy to do the same for them. The same holds true if you see someone touching something they maybe shouldn't be. Don't be afraid to educate. | APR 2020


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People aren?t used to this. We have to somehow encourage We?ve got a normalcy wherever we can." mental health pandemic ?(Another) part of this is an coming.?People economic crisis. Well, we can aren?t used to be part of the solution. Golf this. We have to has over 44,000 employees in somehow Alberta and is a encourage two-and-a-half billion dollar normalcy contributor,?to industry wherever we employees as well as can. government tax coffers. Regarding the economic impact the ?non-essential?tag has on golf courses, it?s major. William Choy (right), the mayor for the Town of Stony Plain, which owns and operates an 18-hole course and restaurant, and Ryan Vold, who owns Wolf Creek Golf Resort near Ponoka, both said being closed is costing them dearly, and the longer they stay closed the worse things get. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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Choy said the town had closed the golf course, plus other recreation amenities, early in March before a public health edict came into place, ?For the safety of our employees.?That Town Council-based decision affected the course?s income stream from lost revenue from their simulator golf season at that time. But this goes far beyond that and affects every citizen of the community. The financial impact is dramatic, Choy stated. After all, closure of a money-generating facility affects the entirety of the Yes, it will. Even town, not just those that play though the golf course is closed, golf. Asked if a lengthy we still have closure would have a major maintenance. impact on town finances We?ll have zero going forward, the mayor revenue coming replied, ?Yes, it will. Even in to offset though the golf course is those costs closed, we still have maintenance. We?ll have zero revenue coming in to offset those costs,?which must be handled in some way and that usually means dollars taken from reserve funds that are usually earmarked for other town needs.

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Interestingly enough, when asked if perhaps this could At this point force the town into putting its and time, it?s not a good time golf course up for sale as costs mount with no income stream, to consider Choy said that?s not likely to selling a golf course with the happen as it did back in the market where it early 1990s when such a is. And if we?re council decision to put the not allowed to course on the open market open, the was overturned by a public property value plebiscite. is very minimal. In Ponoka, the owner of the We?ll be at an Wolf Creek Golf Resort, Ryan even greater loss if we try to Vold (image next page), said bad things have come at the sell. Alberta golf industry from all sides over the past while. A downturn in the economy that began a couple of years back, coupled with the late arrival of Spring this year, and then being classed as non-essential businesses have all contributed to sagging reveries and putting some courses in financial danger. ?The fact is we still have to maintain our golf courses

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so we still have expenses. It?s not like a business where you close the doors and wait it out although I guess they still have rent. With golf courses, it?s on-going maintenance. You have to hire people. This is just a killer.? Like other courses in Alberta, at Wolf Creek many members pay their yearly fees in advance. While paid members likely expect to lose a few days in a season due to inclement weather, something like this pandemic, to them at least, is a different scenario and as such some may seek a refund on those fees. ?A lot of clubs do that now, it?s just the way of the world,? Vold commented on that A lot of clubs do conundrum. ?We?re getting that now, it?s phone calls now, ?Hey, I lost just the way of my job. I can?t afford to golf. I the world,?said need my money back!?For the most part, our members Wolf Creek GC's have been really good and Ryan Vold. we?ve kept them informed.

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The restaurant industry isa concrete example of what?s happening with these economic sanctions. With golf courses, we had a bad year last year because of weather. And we?ll have another bad (year) if we don?t do what?s right here. This is an industry we can help and an industry that can help us.

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This is a fluid situation that changes day to day.? McAllister said at this time there is really no way to put a cost on how much tax revenue the local, provincial and federal governments will lose now and in the future due to such an industry closure. He did, however, comment: ?The restaurant industry is a concrete example of what?s happening with these economic sanctions. With golf courses, we had a bad year last year because of weather. And we?ll have another bad (year) if we don?t do what?s right here. This is an industry we can help and an industry that can help us.? McAllister emphasized that golf can be a safe social distancing sport if specific CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


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guidelines are followed. Any business or That is reflected in a service may stay open if it can 37-step safety document adapt its services sent out to PGA of and workplace to Alberta members and the ordersand clubs, focusing not only on recommendations the safety of the playing of the provincial public but golf course health officer. employees as well. At this point, McAllister pointed out that a number of ?Democratic states,? such as California and the province of British Columbia are ?okay with golf.?In fact, through her office, Dr. Bonnie Henry, who is B.C.?s Provincial Health Officer, has said concerning businesses staying in operation at this time, ?Any business or service may stay open if it can adapt its services and workplace to the orders and recommendations of the provincial health officer.? And that?s where the National Allied Golf Association - Alberta Chapter (NAGA-AB) is coming from as it approaches the proper officials to change their mind(s) in the way they view golf. ?Alberta needs to

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get moving. There are so many good news stories coming out of the U.S. (and) B.C., from golf courses following the protocol,?stated McAllister. ?We know the government has many decisions to make in You can?t blame putting the safety of Albertans first, but so are we. Golf is the them for this. Over time, with perfect way to get outside, get second thought, some exercise, help your quantifiable mental health and have a little information fun. A little bit of a reprieve. A with research bit of normalcy.? from our While he doesn?t cast any neighbouring blame on anyone for deciding province and to deem golf courses as the United States, it?s clear non-essential businesses, McAllister did note that ? you can socially isolate, determination can be changed given time along with the socially distance and proper supporting play your game. information. We just need to ?You can?t blame them for this. communicate Over time, with second that now. thought, quantifiable

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information with research from our neighbouring province and the United States, it?s clear ? you can socially isolate, socially distance and play your game. ... because We just need to communicate we?re all in this that now. We understand why together let?s you did what you did. We?re all take a look at in this together, but because we?re all in this together let?s this now and adjust our sails take a look at this now and adjust our sails for the for the betterment of Alberta.?

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betterment of Alberta.

About the writer: Gord Montgomery isa retired sportseditor of two weekly newspapersin the Edmonton area and isa member of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada. He isnow in his 12th year of writing for Inside Golf. He can be reached at noraltagolf@gmail.com. He?salso on Twitter at @Gordinsidegolf and on Instagram at gordinsidegolf2. | APR 2020


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Profile for Inside Golf Inc.

PGA Of Alberta Golf Report - March/April Issue  

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