City of Edmonton teeing off golf season Friday with opening of Victoria Driving Range

The 61-stall practice facility will operate between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to start the season.

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Edmontonians can swing into the spring golf season on Friday with the opening of the Victoria Driving Range in the city’s river valley.

The 61-stall practice facility will operate between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to start the season and hours will be extended as daylight increases throughout the warmer months, the city announced in a Thursday morning news release. The Greenhouse YEG Restaurant will also be open for visitors, with COVID-19 restrictions in place, serving locally-sourced food.

Residents can get a much earlier start to their golfing season this year with the Alberta government opting to keep golf courses closed in 2020 until the beginning of May as a result of the pandemic. Last year, the City of Edmonton opened the driving range on May 25 as well as two of its three golf courses. The Rundle Park Golf Course remained closed for the season in an effort to reduce costs.

This year, all three city-owned golf courses will open in April for the season with COVID-19 safety measures in place, including increased cleaning protocols, physical distancing requirements and signage.

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In a report to council last November on the cost to run the golf courses, the city said the total cost recovery between 2015-19 was 78.3 per cent. The city also anticipates the need for about $12.5 million in capital upgrades to the three courses by 2030.

Riverside, Rundle and Victoria golf courses will open as conditions permit. Edmontonians can visit edmonton.ca/golf for updates on course status. Residents must pre-book a tee time at any of the three golf courses, but drop-ins are permitted at the driving range on a first-come, first-served basis.

duscook@postmedia.com

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