Nova Scotia

Cabot golf courses expect to see more locals amid COVID-19

Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs are opening for the season on Friday. Both are among the last Cape Breton golf courses to open after the province announced golf courses could reopen May 16.

Although N.S. golf courses could reopen May 16, Cabot took extra time for COVID-19 measures and reopen Friday

A trio of golfers putts on the 17th green at the Cabot Cliffs golf course in Inverness, N.S., on Oct. 25, 2019. (Tom Ayers/CBC)

Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs are opening for the season on Friday.

Both are among the last Cape Breton golf courses to open after the province announced golf courses could reopen May 16.

One of the reasons the Inverness courses stayed closed was to ensure every area had physical distancing protocols in place.

Andrew Alkenbrack, general manager of Cabot Links, said caddies will not be able to wash a ball or hand over a club, but will still be there to offer tips and carry the clubs. There are also changes in the restaurant, with limits on capacity and no seating at the bar.

"The hallmarks of what it is to stay here, I think those can live on. They may be slightly different in terms of their packaging and how they're delivered to your table," said Alkenbrack.

Alkenbrack said there are fewer employees this year. He said about 265 people will be employed, which is less than usual for the Cabot courses.

"But it is a significant amount of employment at a place that I think desperately needs it," said Alkenbrack.

More locals expected this year

Eighty per cent of the operation's business typically comes from out of province every year.

Ben Cowan Dewar, a co-owner of the Cabot courses, told CBC's Information Morning Cape Breton last week that this year is a blip after years of huge growth.

He thinks more Nova Scotians will play the courses this year.

"I think there is a real pride both in Cape Breton and Nova Scotia and across the country of people wanting to support their local businesses," said Cowan Dewar.

There are also plans to open the brand new, 10-hole par three course called The Nest, which is located at Cabot Cliffs.

With files from CBC's Information Morning Cape Breton

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