Bald eagle has been dark since US border closed in March 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in thriving business for public and private golf courses in the Metro Vancouver area thanks to the outdoors and the social distancing nature of sport. However, there is one exception nearby that hasn’t had a single tee time for almost 18 months.
The Bald Eagle Golf Club has been locked up since the Canada-U.S. Border was closed to non-essential travel in March 2020. It was hoped that part of the summer season could be saved, however, the US portion remains closed until at least . September 21.
“With such a small population at Point Roberts, it’s fair to say that 99 percent of our game comes from the Canadian side of the border,” said General Manager and Chief Professional at Bald Eagle Kyle German. “In the golf industry, every winter you get the idea of creating all of your programs, getting ready and preparing for next year. That winter was so wet and gloomy that we had tons of stuff planned for next year. We were excited and ready to go. I was in Palm Springs on my vacation and couldn’t wait to come back and get started.
The timing of closing could not have been worse. The course has undergone a major renovation a year after being sold in 2017.
It is now up to course superintendent Rick Hoole to ensure that the 6,868 yard route is maintained to some extent while the wait for the border to reopen patiently continues. The club is generally open year round.
“It has been a difficult period for sure, as it only recently reopened after the change of ownership and the renovation of the course. We have had a very good 2019 and have recovered in the golf community, ”continued German. “Our superintendent worked alone during the shutdown, just trying to keep the course alive and not let it get to the point where it needed to be refurbished again.”
Hoole remains the only active employee of the club. German, who has dual citizenship, lives in Cloverdale. He received unemployment assistance from the US government and is grateful to have been hosted at Meadow Gardens in Pitt Meadows last year.
At least based on 2020 green fees, Bald Eagle is one of the best deals nearby, with the high season weekend rate being $ 42 (US). Youth (16-18) cost $ 20 (US) and juniors 15 and under are free if playing with an adult.
The course also includes the Eagle Roost restaurant.
“Not taking advantage of the current activity in the golf industry is the hardest part,” German added. “We have a new group of owners who have invested a lot of money in the course. We were on a roll and it’s hard from an owner’s perspective not to see (any kind of feedback). In fact, it has been two years since all the other courses were able to make up for their previous shortcomings.