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CLOSED: Tillsonburg golf course that defied COVID shutdown laws cancels tee times

A Tillsonburg golf course that has ignored provincial stay-at-home orders and opened despite a recent lockdown is now closed, saying in a statement that "overbearing" enforcement have forced it to cancel its protest.

The Bridges at Tillsonburg says golf is safe and the rules prohibiting it are illogical

The Bridges at Tillsonburg golf course stayed open for several weeks, despite provincial lockdown rules. (The Bridges at Tillsonburg)

A Tillsonburg golf course that has ignored provincial stay-at-home orders and opened despite a recent lockdown is now closed, saying in a statement that "overbearing" enforcement have forced it to cancel upcoming tee times.

The Bridges at Tillsonburg has been opening despite the provincial lockdown, arguing that golf is safe, and now faces fines of up to $10 million if convicted of charges laid by OPP under the Reopening Ontario Act. 

"The government has overstepped with its arbitrary and illogical closing of golf courses. Golf is safe. There is overwhelming evidence from the medical community that outdoor activities including golf when conducted with proper protocols are safe but also essential for physical and mental well-being," owners of the golf course said in a statement on its website. 

Golfers who showed up to tee off this weekend were also given $750 tickets. 

"The Bridges at Tillsonburg would like to thank the hundreds of golfers and citizens who have supported us during our 'opening in protest' of the lockdown measures taken against golf courses," the statement said. 

"The opening was not about making money. It was in protest of unreasonable measures. To demonstrate this, we are donating all the profits from the course opening to organizations who represent those who have been adversely affected by the lockdowns. Including the Tillsonburg Helping Hand Food Bank, Domestic Abuse Service Oxford (DASO), and Wellkin (Child & Youth Mental Wellness)."

The enforcement of provincial lockdown rules has been "overbearing" and the "threats and fines" has affected The Bridges' ability to continue safe play.

"As such, we are no longer able to bring awareness to the benefits of outdoor activities, by continuing to remain open. We encourage the government to reconsider this punitive closure—the only one in North America."

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