When the Aroostook Valley Country Club in Fort Fairfield and Four Falls, New Brunswick, opened in May, it was the first time in nearly two years that Americans could play golf at the 18-hole course at 6,305 yards.

And while they have to go through a complicated process to do so, that doesn’t keep them all away.

After having to close its doors to Americans in July 2020 due to its unique location straddling the border of the United States and Canada, the 92-year-old popular course feared its business was in jeopardy. Now the course is enjoying a minor resurgence as travel requirements between the two countries become more lenient.

Aroostook Valley Country Club has 141 current members, down just 48 from before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Of these members, 28 are American and 113 are Canadian. Normally, at least 50% of the members are American.

“We are doing well. More and more [Americans] come every day. We certainly haven’t resumed our normal activities [numbers]said pro and club manager Steve Leitch, who added that the course was “busier than we expected”.

The problem started due to the fact that the golf course and clubhouse are in Four Falls, New Brunswick, while the main entrance, parking lot and pro shop are in Fort Fairfield.

Americans must pass through a Canada Border Services Agency port of entry and submit health information through ArriveCAN, a free mobile app, within 72 hours of entering a port of entry. They must also have a passport and proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

They must be processed through immigration and customs.

“Some find it doable and some find it inconvenient and don’t come,” Leitch said of the border crossing requirements.

“We are certainly yearning for a solution so that we can get back to normal, but we will continue to play with the cards that have been dealt to us. This is how we approach each day.

Fort Fairfield High School women’s basketball coach Larry Gardner, a member of the course’s board of directors, said Canadian female golfers have “really stepped up” to help the course make up for the loss of American female golfers.

Leitch said the club lost many American businesses, so it had to replace canceled tournaments with other events, such as scrambles.

In a race you have multiple teams of golfers and after each golfer lands a shot the team determines which was the best shot and then each golfer hits the next shot from the chosen spot. This continues until the team ends.

“We certainly miss our past events. But like anything else in business, you have to make the best of an unfortunate situation,” Leitch said. “You try to keep your head above water.”

Gardner said the council had organized fundraising activities to help the course.

The 24th Annual Fort Fairfield High School Athletic Boosters Club Fundraising Tournament will return to Aroostook Valley Country Club for the first time since 2019 on August 20.

The money goes to the school’s athletic department.

They will have three-member teams in the scramble format. They will leave at 9am with a shotgun start.

A shotgun start means that each hole will have a different team starting at 9:00.

“It’s too nice a course for him to just sit there,” Gardner said. “He’s in fantastic shape.”

He said the tournament will honor the memory of four prominent men with close ties to Fort Fairfield who have passed away over the past two years: Keith Mahaney, Chappy Clark, Lloyd McLaughlin and Rod Doody.