When the Aroostook Valley Nation Membership in Fort Fairfield and 4 Falls, New Brunswick, opened for the season in Could, it was the primary time in practically two years that Individuals may golf the 18-hole, 6,305-yard course.
And whereas they need to undergo a sophisticated course of to take action, that isn’t retaining all of them away.
After having to shut its doorways to Individuals in July 2020 because of its distinctive location that straddles the border of each the U.S. and Canada, the 92-year-old extremely regarded course feared its enterprise was in jeopardy. Now the course is experiencing a minor resurgence as journey necessities between the 2 international locations change into extra lenient.
The Aroostook Valley Nation Membership has 141 present members, simply 48 fewer than earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic started.
Of these members, 28 are Individuals and 113 are Canadians. Usually, at the least 50 p.c of the members are American.
“We’ve been doing OK. Increasingly [Americans] are coming over daily. We actually haven’t returned to our regular enterprise [numbers],” mentioned membership professional and supervisor Steve Leitch, who added that the course has been “busier than we might have anticipated.”
The issue started because of the truth that the golf course and clubhouse are in 4 Falls, New Brunswick, whereas the primary entrance, car parking zone and professional store are in Fort Fairfield.
Individuals need to cross by a Canada Border Providers Company port of entry and submit well being data by ArriveCAN, a free cellular app, inside 72 hours of getting into a port of entry. In addition they will need to have a passport and proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
They need to be processed by immigration and customs.
“Some discover it doable and others discover it inconvenient and don’t come,” Leitch mentioned of the border-crossing necessities.
“We actually lengthy for an answer so we will return to regular however we are going to proceed to play with the playing cards now we have been dealt. That’s how we method daily.”
Fort Fairfield Excessive Faculty women basketball coach Larry Gardner, a member of the course’s board of administrators, mentioned the Canadian golfers have “actually stepped up” to assist the course offset the lack of the American golfers.
Leitch mentioned the membership has misplaced a variety of American company enterprise so he has needed to substitute canceled tournaments with different occasions, reminiscent of scrambles.
In a scramble, you’ve got a number of golfer groups and after every golfer hits a shot, the group determines which was one of the best of the photographs after which every golfer hits the subsequent shot from that chosen spot. That continues till the group holes out.
“We actually miss our outdated occasions. However like anything in enterprise, it’s important to make one of the best of an unlucky scenario,” Leitch mentioned. “You attempt to hold your head above water.”
Gardner mentioned the board has organized some fund-raising actions to assist the course.
The twenty fourth annual Fort Fairfield Excessive Faculty Athletic Boosters Membership fundraising event goes to return to the Aroostook Valley Nation Membership for the primary time since 2019 on Aug. 20.
The cash goes to the college’s athletic division.
They may have three-member groups within the scramble format. They may tee off at 9 a.m. with a shotgun begin.
A shotgun begin signifies that every gap may have a special group begin on it at 9 a.m.
“It’s too good of a course to have it simply sit there,” Gardner mentioned. “It’s in improbable form.”
He mentioned the event will honor the reminiscence of 4 outstanding males with robust Fort Fairfield ties who’ve died over the previous two years: Keith Mahaney, Chappy Clark, Lloyd McLaughlin and Rod Doody.