Dangerous lie: cross-border golf course unplayable for Canadian members

Canada's Brooke Henderson tees up her ball during second round action at the LPGA Canadian Open tournament in Priddis, Alta., Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. A golf course built to straddle the Canada-U.S. border during the prohibition era of the 1920s now finds itself out-of-bounds for Canadian members as COVID-19 border restrictions block access to the entrance on the American side. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Canada’s Brooke Henderson tees up her ball throughout second spherical motion on the LPGA Canadian Open match in Priddis, Alta., Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. A golf course constructed to straddle the Canada-U.S. border in the course of the prohibition period of the 1920s now finds itself out-of-bounds for Canadian members as COVID-19 border restrictions block entry to the doorway on the American facet. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh


FREDERICTON – Border restrictions associated to COVID-19 are proving a hazard for Canadian members of a golf course alongside the Canada-U.S. boundary.

The Aroostook Valley Nation Membership, constructed in the course of the Prohibition period of the 1920s, has its professional store and parking zone within the state of Maine, whereas the clubhouse and fairways are in New Brunswick.

Canadian members have crossed by the border level at Fort Fairfield, Maine, for years, however pandemic considerations have blocked them from getting into the state. And even when they might get in, they’d must self-isolate for 14 days upon returning dwelling.


“Sadly proper now with the worldwide border closed, our Canadian membership can not get to the golf course as a result of the roads that result in the golf course are completely in the US,” mentioned membership professional Stephen Leitch.

“They should undergo an official level of entry to get to our parking zone and they aren’t in a position to entry the golf course proper now.”

Leitch mentioned a number of the membership’s American members are lobbying Sen. Susan Collins for an exemption to permit their Canadian enjoying companions to cross with out restriction.


“The important thing to resolving that is to have U.S. Customs officers allow ‘momentary’ entry from Canada for present members of AVCC till the border formally opens. We’re asking our members and pals to electronic mail U.S. Senator Susan Collins and categorical their concern for AVCC’s future existence,” reads a part of a message posted on the membership’s web site.

Leitch and different workers of the course are Canadian and dwell in New Brunswick, however are allowed to cross the border as a result of they’re thought of important staff to the enterprise.

Brent Hatchard, a membership member who lives in New Brunswick, mentioned he is not holding his breath in anticipation of an exemption from border officers.


“We’re hopeful, however we’re such a small merchandise within the scheme of a (5,000-kilometre) border with lower than 200 members —we’re in all probability not a large enough problem to get the feds concerned,” Hatchard mentioned.

Constructed by businessman on each side of the border in 1929, the course offered a chance for the American members to play golf and have a number of drinks after they crossed into Canada, the place the clubhouse and fairways are situated — and booze was authorized.

Membership tends to be evenly cut up between Canadians and People.


Hatchard calls the course “a jewel in the course of nowhere”, and one of many nicest programs in both the province or the state.

He mentioned it might be good to play this summer season on the course the place he is a member, however he’ll simply must play at different programs within the province this season.

The Aroostook Valley course is providing Canadian membership members who’ve already paid their dues a credit score for subsequent season, in addition to pro-rated dues if the border is opened later this 12 months.


“We now have at all times operated in a spirit of equity and can proceed to take action,” Leitch mentioned.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Might 23, 2020.