Golfing in winter? K-W courses bring idea to the fore

Golfing in winter? K-W courses bring idea to the fore

If you are a golfer who has started to put away your clubs, a Waterloo region golf company says you may want to reconsider.

GolfNorth in Conestogo says it will be keeping its courses open through the winter, and based on the responses they have received so far, people are looking forward to teeing off, even in the snow.

“We’ve had a lot of positive responses through our website and comments that we’ve heard through our members,” chief operating officer Mike Garside told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo. 

“There are a lot of individuals that would normally go down south this time of year but they are not going, so they are looking at some opportunities to get out and get a little bit more exercise. And if they can do their favourite sport in the winter time then they’re very happy.”

Garside says while traditionally, golfing in Canada has been a summer activity, that’s not necessarily the case anymore.

“Obviously with COVID rearing its ugly head, we’ve been in a position where golf in the summertime has seen a very good increase in play and people playing,” he said. 

“We decided that people are going to need some different things to do over the winter time, so why not take the summer to the winter and give people something to do.”

Golfing in a dump of snow

GolfNorth says golfers who hit the winter links won’t be hitting off the tees. Instead, they should look for a stake and tee off from behind it.

“The greens will not be in play so people will not be putting on normal greens. There will be a flag stick in front of the green,” Garside said. 

“Your teeing area will be in front of the normal teeing areas on the golf course. 

“It’s just more of an outdoor activity where people can spend some time with their family, friends and go and have a good time — people getting some exercise, and get you out of the house during COVID.”

Chief operating officer Mike Garside says GolfNorth will be keeping its courses open through the winter, and based on the response they have gotten so far, people are looking forward to tee off even in the snow. (Submitted by Mike Garside)

And if you’re wondering how players would be able to find a white golf ball in the snow, Garside said they won’t.

“We strongly suggest people buy coloured golf balls. We’ll have those for purchase if people do not have them. But you can get them in any off-course pro shop golf store,” he said.

Booking a tee time

VP Mike Turner said in a news release that for traditional GolfNorth customers, when they book online, they will be asked to create a new profile because of a new booking system.

Turner added that course calendars will have information on which courses will be open for which day.

Meanwhile, Garside said “absolutely anybody” can sign up to take part in winter golf. 

“Golf is a sport for all ages — kids right up. We have members that are over 90 years old, people of all ages, all genders they can get out and enjoy the outdoors and have a great time with friends and family” Garside told CBC News.

“I think even just getting outdoors for a lot of people is fun anyway whether it’s hiking on a trail or whether it’s playing golf in the snow,” he added.

“I think people will make their own fun and turn it into a real fun activity. Golf is an extremely popular sport in the first place, so I think taking it to a different season will be quite enjoyable for a lot of people.”

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