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Local Golf Report: Local courses to make COVID-19 adjustments

From Tee to Green


March 25, 2020

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

The famed clubhouse at Beaver Creek Golf Course Tuesday afternoon. Area courses are hoping to open for play very soon, but due to the changing times surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, golfers will see plenty of changes and adjustments made to the sport once the golf season on the Hi-Line kicks into high gear.

Normally, I wouldn't have a From Tee to Green this early in the spring. After all, it was only a week ago that Havre's golf courses got buried under seven inches of snow.

But these are anything but normal times we're living in, and the coronavirus, COVID-19, has hit the world of golf, just like it has everything else.

Of course that means both Prairie Farms Golf Course and Beaver Creek Golf Course will be making adjustments, in accordance with new Montana Golf Association and United States Golf Association guidelines on the virus.

Having said that, both courses plan to open as soon as possible.

Here is the statement Prairie Farms issued earlier in the week:

"With the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic affecting all of us, we thought we would touch base and let you know what our plans are at this time for the spring.

"As soon as the course thaws out and is playable, we are currently planning to be open for play. We are shooting for the first week in April - keep your fingers crossed. We will follow the guidelines of local and state officials regarding the coronavirus and operate with extreme caution to help protect players and employees. The clubhouse will be available for check-in and beverages to go, but not open to public use or sit-down service.

"As for league play, the start date is still to be decided, so keep an eye on your email, our website and our Facebook page for updates. We will keep everyone informed as we know more. If you are planning to have a team this spring (Men's or Women's League) please send us a Facebook message and we will get you on the list.

"Thank you all for doing your part to keep our community safe by staying home and following the advice of health officials. Let's work together to help Montana get through this moment in time as fast as possible. We are sure some of you are dreaming of a nice, warm day on the golf course with the sun shining on your shoulders. We are too. Our hope is that golf will be an activity that will allow us to get outside while still following the social distancing guidelines this spring.

"Be Healthy and Stay Safe. Here's hoping we see you at the course in April."

I spoke with BCGC owner Rob Gomke Tuesday and he noted that the course hopes to open by the end of next week. He also cautioned golfers that, in accordance with all health ordinances, there will be plenty of changes at BCGC once it is open for play.

All BCGC golfers can check the course's Facebook page for updates.

A check of other courses in the area. No updates from Chinook Golf Club as of yet, but Signal Point in Fort Benton updated its Facebook Page twice in the last week. One update said the course will be open soon, and plans to follow all regulations as related to the coronavirus.

And, as expected, as spring arrives, and golfers hope to hit the links, that's all anyone can talk about is the conronavirus. As mentioned above, it will certainly affect the way golf courses operate, and the way we conduct ourselves around others while playing the sport, but from what I can see so far, it appears golf is remaining an essential part of life through shutdowns, as courses in New York state and California remain open through their shelter-in-place orders.

So on that now, I will have much more information about playing golf during this pandemic in my next column, which will be in a couple of weeks.

For now though, I wanted to start the column up to get the updates on Havre's two golf courses out there, as well as say hello, and welcome to spring.

And with that, I'll sign off again for now. But, please everybody, continue to be safe, continue to look out for each other and continue to help combat the coronavirus. The more you do that, the faster we can all be together on the links.


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