The sights and sounds of golf were welcome to many in the sporting community, and golf's return to play was the number 10 sports story of the year.

The pandemic did and continues to stifle many sports and activities, but the successful return of golf was a bright spot in 2020.

Places in British Columbia that can nearly golf year-round were starting to come back in April under some new protocols.  

Mark Patterson, head pro at the Harbour Golf Course and Resort in Elbow, is one of those people eagerly awaiting the beginning of the golf season when it’s safe. Premier Scott Moe said the province will release a strategy next week of how they plan to re-open the economy and many public activities.

The game is being played at some courses in B.C. with raised cups – if your ball hits it, it counts as completing the hole – and here’s no need to touch the flagstick.

“When he (Moe) does say that golf can be played, we are going to be totally ready,” Patterson said. “The whole industry, golf professionals to players are going to be ready. And I’m going to say that they’re going to be very respectful, and it’s shown out in B.C. of keeping distant, like the flag in the hole, the raised cup et cetera.”

And open they did, under a set of rules that were slightly loosened as the year went on. 

Hillcrest Golf Course general manager Jasmine Cameron said they had a number of strict guidelines they had to adhere to, which caused problems for some regulars.

"In the beginning, there was definitely some frustration and people who were a little hesitant to take on the guidelines, but unfortunately we really had to push them through because we could have potentially been closed down or fined."

"One of the biggest changes was the change in tee times. We're still running with tee times every 10 minutes, and that took away two or three tee times per hour. It really created a tough go at booking tee times, so we saw our days full from 6 am to 6 pm every day."

Cameron says the inability to host tournaments hit the club pretty hard too, but that the year was still a successful one.

She went on to say the whole club sends a big 'thank you' to all members and cooperate sponsors who helped the club get through the year.

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