The expanding impacts on private and public use of marijuana extends to the links as of Oct. 17, when recreational pot sales become legal under federal law.
The British Columbia Golf and Inside Golf surveyed more than 5,400 golfers province-wide and found one in seven golfers plan to smoke marijuana on the courses.
The number rises to one-in-two for those under the age of 35 and drops to less than one-in-ten for those 55 and older, according to The Golf Marijuana Survey.
Countering that, six-in-ten golfers are uncomfortable with anyone smoking marijuana on the course.
For many courses, concerns are less about the perception and more about potential liability concerns.
“Our board like most clubs has yet to come up with a formal policy until the National Golf Course Owners Association comes up with some recommendations but we are still waiting for some of the roll out with government,” said Scott Kolb, General Manager, Victoria Golf Club.
Others are simply extending policy already in place with other substance use on site.
“With the exception of designated areas, Bear Mountain is a non-smoking property year-round – including the golf courses. The legalization of marijuana will not change the existing policy,” said Mike Ridout, Director of Golf, Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa.
Eight-in-ten golfers who are members at clubs would like to have input into decisions regarding marijuana use at their club. This rises to 88 per cent for those planning to smoke.
Three-quarters of golfers do not think that marijuana should be smoked within viewing distance of junior players.
The survey finds nearly nine-in-ten of those planning to smoke marijuana on the course view it as the same as drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco and cigars as compared to only six-in-ten for nonsmokers.
More detailed results and analysis are expected in the September issue of BC Golf’s digital magazine The Scorecard out in two weeks’ time.