MONTREAL -- In their daily messages, government authorities have reminded people to take time out of their homes and get some fresh air. These strolls, however, do not include walks on Quebec golf courses, one of which was already set to make its facilities available.

Like ski hills, golf clubs and exercise fields are on the list of recreational areas that must be closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thus, the arrival of spring does not mean the opening of the Club de Golf International 2000 in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle. Usually the first in Quebec to welcome golfers, and the last to close, the course was in standby mode on Friday, the same day it was ready to start its 2020 season.

According to Sylvain Patry, director of operations for the club, it was ready to open on Tuesday, in fact, after three weeks of daily work to make the land usable.

Despite the prevailing uncertainty, Martin Ducharme, president of the Association des clubs de golf du Quebec, is optimistic and believes that golf enthusiasts may be able to revive their passions in mid-May. The condition being that the population listens to the warnings to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Golf club managers are also working on a series of suggestions that could help promote social distancing while golfing, such as including only one person per cart or leaving time between each tee off.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 20, 2020.