Some P.E.I. golf courses seeing business rise as Island opens up

·2 min read
A golfer at Eagles Glenn of Cavendish prepares to take a shot as some P.E.I. golf courses see a surge in inquiries as the province opens up to eligible residents of Atlantic provinces. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC - image credit)
A golfer at Eagles Glenn of Cavendish prepares to take a shot as some P.E.I. golf courses see a surge in inquiries as the province opens up to eligible residents of Atlantic provinces. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC - image credit)

With P.E.I. now open to visitors from the Atlantic region, travellers are making plans to hit the golf courses when they get here.

Golf P.E.I. Executive Director Mark MacLean said it's been incredibly busy with bookings and inquiries.

"There is a lot of pent up demand — there's no doubt — everybody wants to travel.' MacLean said.

"A long Canadian winter, you know. A lot of our golfers haven't had the ability to travel south, so every time we announce a date, or a new opening date, or a plan our phones start to ring."

Sheehan Desjardins/CBC
Sheehan Desjardins/CBC

He said about 150 calls came in when the province first announced the reopening plans.

He estimates more than 600 inquires or bookings just in June with the majority of them being from out of province.

At Eagles Glenn in Cavendish, P.E.I., staff said local golfers helped keep them afloat through the pandemic.

Now, they're starting to welcome some new faces, as golf operations manager Chris Croken said he's had around 20 golfers from off-Island as of Monday.

He expects that'll continue to grow over the summer.

Sheehan Desjardins/CBC
Sheehan Desjardins/CBC

Croken estimates calls and emails for bookings are up around 30 per cent compared to last week and he's hiring more staff because of that.

"It's been a lot of the same names, same people and then all of the sudden the phone calls are coming in and instead of a reservation being cancelled or moved, they're booking," Croken said.

"It's been great to see the bump there and just staff-wise we're starting to staff more for the more bodies that are around. It's great. It's good things ahead — hopefully, finally."

Croken said he's happy to see the new visitors, but it could take some adjusting for local golfers.

Tee times might get harder to come by, and for those wanting to get out on the course Croken said staff will do all they can to make that happen.

Another Island golf course CBC News spoke with said it doesn't expect to see a bump in business for a while.

That means right now it's still leaning on local support.

As for Golf P.E.I., it's asking people to be patient when trying to book as they are trying to prioritize requests by booking dates.

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