Vancouver public golf courses waiting for provincial approval for beer cart licenses

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The Langara Golf Course is one of three Vancouver courses that could have beer carts after the province approves a request from the city. Photo credit: Kevin Hampson.

Beer might be sold from licensed carts at Langara Golf Course by next summer, but golfers say the course already unofficially allows beer on the links.

City council approved a request from the parks board last week to allow beer carts on Langara, Fraserview and McCleery golf courses. The request still has to be approved by the province.

Council not unanimous over beer cart proposal

Only Green Councillor Adriane Carr voted against the request.

“[A public golf course] should be treated like a public park or a public beach,” she said. “Open liquor consumption is not allowed in a public space.”

Allowing drinking in public golf courses may open the way to allowing it in other public spaces, Carr said.

Golfers already take beer on the course 

But Langara golfers say that in practice all three courses already allow golfers to take beer from the restaurant onto the course.

According to Allen Lewis, all you have to do is ask for your beer in a plastic cup and you can take it onto the course.

A lot of people do this on the Langara golf course, said golfer Miles Bruce.

“You’re allowed to do it, as long as you get it from over there,” he said, pointing to the clubhouse.

Staff at the clubhouse declined to comment.

But not everyone opts for the clubhouse beer.

“I usually bring my own beer and keep it on the down-low,” said one golfer, who only wanted to be identified as Dale.

Presence of beer carts could encourage liquor being brought onto courses

Dale said he was not enthusiastic about the possibility of beer carts, because the course might crack down on people who bring their own.

“I don’t want their seven-dollar beers, ” he added.

According to the city report, golf courses represent a low risk for alcohol-related harm, because people use them for recreation and not drinking.

The Vancouver Police Department expressed no concerns with the beer cart proposal.

Reported by Kevin Hampson

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