In September 2018, former Vancouver Canucks player Dave Babych tees off at Northview Golf & Country Club in Surrey during the 35th annual Jake Milford Charity Invitational tournament. (File photo: Tom Zillich)

In September 2018, former Vancouver Canucks player Dave Babych tees off at Northview Golf & Country Club in Surrey during the 35th annual Jake Milford Charity Invitational tournament. (File photo: Tom Zillich)

GOLF

No ‘shotguns’ or banquets: Surrey golf courses pitch COVID-safe tournaments for 2021

With spring on the way, course operators book tournaments that will involve ‘tweaks and adjustments’

Golf has been a popular sport to play during the COVID-19 era, but one aspect of the game has been greatly restricted since last March: tournaments.

“Shotgun” starts and banquets lead to gatherings that aren’t allowed during the pandemic, prompting Surrey-area course operators to adapt.

With winter winding down and spring on the way, operators of the city’s largest golf facility, the 36-hole Northview Golf & Country Club, have announced plans to restructure their tournament packages to allow for such events to be safely held there.

Tee time-only tourneys are offered, with staggered starts and no congregating, in tandem with on-course food and beverage options.

“Charity events can look forward to conducting a safe, enjoyable day for their guests while still being able to raise those much needed funds for their great causes,” explained a recent newsletter to Northview patrons. “We look forward to once again welcoming back many of our valued, long-term event clients this season.”

Tournament director Daryl Allercott said in a typical year, golf “events” there have ranged from 24 to 300-plus people, ever since the course opened in 1994. “I’ve been there since opening day, pretty much,” he said. “We do about 150 events a year. Tournaments are a key component for us.”

Last spring, when the global pandemic was declared, golf was put on hold at most Surrey-area courses, although some never closed.

At Northview, most of the bigger events were cancelled from May to July, and the course hosted some smaller tournaments in August and September – “only a handful of those,” according to Allercott. “We never did host any really large-scale events last year, just smaller golf outings – social clubs and that sort of thing. But we are going to be diving back into it in the spring here, or at least hoping to.”

For spring and summer 2021, “some tweaks and adjustments” to tournament packages reflect COVID protocols, Allercott said, so there won’t be any shotgun-type tournaments on the Ridge and Canal courses, or large banquets held at the big clubhouse on Payne Stewart Drive, off 168th Street.

(Story continues below photo)

homelessphoto

PICTURED: Golf carts are parked prior to a 2018 tournament at Surrey’s Northview Golf & Country Club, before the COVID-19 pandemic prevented such big events. (Photo: Facebook.com/NorthviewGolfCC)

“Shotguns” become a crowding issue when hundreds of golfers turn up at the same time and hang around the golf shop and carts.

“That will be a big adjustment for some of these events because they’ve always structured their day around that for many years, gathering like that,” Allercott noted. “So now we’ll have golfers tee off at 9:30 or 10 in the morning and the last groups will be going at 3 or 4 o’clock, depending on the group size.”

He said this year, tournaments won’t look much different than a regular day of golf there, except for signage and some on-course food stations.

Some of the largest corporate tournaments held at Northview are hosted by retailers, including Save-On-Foods, Costco and London Drugs, Allercott said. Yearly since 2007, the Vancouver Canucks have booked the course for their pre-season charity tourney, known as “The Jake,” with current and former hockey players among the hundreds of golfers.

“A lot of events are still pondering what to do, they have the information,” Allercott said. “I know a lot of the smaller events are pretty keen, but things are still on the table and people are weighing their options this year.

“The golf portion,” he added, “as long as it’s done on a tee-time basis, that’s a safe option because it’s staggered and there’s no congregating.”

• RELATED STORY, from August 2020: Mike Weir’s landmark golf win celebrated at Surrey’s Northview course.

• READ ALSO, from July 2020: Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society modifies annual golf tournament for COVID-19.

Elsewhere in Surrey, tournament packages are offered at courses including Surrey Golf Club, Guildford, Eaglequest’s Coyote Creek, Morgan Creek, Hazelmere and Peace Portal, among others.

“Other courses are adjusting their packages and what they’re offering, too, for tournaments,” Allercott noted. “Some facilities ran (reformatted tournaments) last summer, late last summer, with sending out golfers at different times, and by all reports things went pretty well. People enjoyed their day and things ran smoothly. It can be a fun day with a few things going on, just done in a safer way.”

As for the general popularity of golf these days, Allercott said Northview was “busier than ever last year, selling out. It was a madhouse for sure, and that goes for all the courses in the city. It was hard to get a tee time, just like in the 1990s.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Golf

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta Mayor George Harvie. (Submitted photo)
Mayor asks Fraser Health to reconsider North Delta vaccination site

Harvie wants a North Delta clinic to complement the South Delta location

Surrey RCMP are investigating a reported assault at Panorama Ridge Secondary. (Shane MacKichan photos)
UPDATE: Third youth arrested after assault with weapon at Panorama Ridge Secondary in Surrey

School placed on a ‘hold and secure’ until safety of all students confirmed

Image Surrey.ca
Surrey to pony up one-third of cost to cover Cloverdale lacrosse box in 2022

This will be at the Cloverdale Athletic Park at 64th Avenue and 168th Street

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

On some blocks in North Delta it was nearly end-to-end refuse during the city’s 2018 Spring Clean-Up. (James Smith photo)
Delta’s Large Item Pick-Up Program starts today

Beginning March 1, residents will be able to dispose of up to four large household items per year

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Left: Oakland County Jail. Right: Canuck Todd Bertuzzi on November 2, 2005. (CP/Chuck Stoody)
Former Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi arrested for suspected DUI: report

The Canadian winger had a complicated history during his time in the NHL

The south coast of B.C. as capture by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. (European Space Agency)
VIDEO: Images of B.C.’s south coast from space released by European Space Agency

The satellite images focus on a variety of the region’s landmarks

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

FILE – Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Cirelli, left, shoots and scores his team’s first goal against Kelowna Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle during second period action at the Memorial Cup final in Quebec City on Sunday, May 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
B.C. government approves plan in principle to allow WHL to resume in the province

League includes Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants, Victoria Royals

The fundraising effort to purchase 40 hectares west of Cottonwood Lake announced its success this week. Photo: Submitted
Nelson society raises $400K to save regional park from logging project

The Nelson community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

Most Read