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Golf manager argue they could open safely as province extends closure

Stay-at-home order and restrictions on outdoor recreation extended to June 2

With files from

Golf course manager, Martin Patterson, says customers are anxious to be outside. Like many across the province, he believes golf courses could open safely as the lockdown is extended once again.

Under a bright May sun, Martin Patterson stands alone on a perfectly manicured golf course green, having just learned that he won't be able to welcome back customers for at least another two weeks. On Thursday, the Ontario government announced it would be extending the stay-at-home order, which began in April and includes restrictions on outdoor recreation, until June 2 in order to lower cases of COVID-19 in the province.

"[I'm] a little disappointed if you ask me, and it's unfortunate that we are in this," said Patterson, the general manager at Emerald Links, Anderson Links and Cloverdale Links in Ottawa. "I was expecting to be able to play golf a little bit earlier."

Patterson said his customers have been "anxious" to get out on the links, and like many others across the province, believes golf courses could open safely during the order.

Patterson said his company may have to look into refunding members if the shutdown continues for much longer. Right now, membership money is going toward maintaining the courses, even if golfers haven't been able to use them.

"We're doing our best. We're rationing a lot of things, but we're trying to make the best of it," he said.

"Hopefully we can maintain this as long as we can, but it'll come to an end at some point in time."

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