‘We are expecting the golf course to be very busy’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 11, 2021 06:47

A number of English golf clubs have said they are looking forward to welcoming golfers back from March 29 – and are anticipating another participation surge.

Andrew March, director of golf at Brean Country Club in Somerset, said: “It was great to hear the announcement that golf will be permitted to return on March 29 and, as was hoped for, it will be one of the first sports permitted to be played again.

“Throughout 2020 golfers demonstrated it can be played safely during Covid times and I know it will be played safely once again in 2021.

“I know golfers, and I am including myself in this, are champing at the bit to get back out on the courses after the enforced absence of this lockdown so with favourable weather we will be expecting it to be very busy once again.

“I expect many courses will be restricting play to members only in the early stages of this return but at least the clocks will have changed by then which will allow us to open up those extra tee times.

“I know a few people had hoped golf might be allowed back a little earlier in March than the 29th but one good outcome of those extra couple of weeks is that it affords a good opportunity for greens’ teams to hopefully complete their spring maintenance programmes before golfers return to the course.

“Considering the poor weather we have experienced in the opening six weeks of 2021 it would have been doubtful as exactly how much golf could have been played anyway.

“The other plus point I can see is that those extra days wait will allow more and more of the golfing fraternity to receive their Covid jabs as well. Let’s hope the spring weather matches the superb weather we enjoyed back in 2020 and golf will be booming once again.

Worlebury Golf Club. Image from Facebook

“As a PGA professional myself, I know many of my fellow pros have had a really tough time over the lockdown period with our shops closed as well as being unable to do any coaching or club fitting.

“Many of us are currently trying to juggle deliveries of the new seasons stock scheduled to arrive around now. Of course our golf clubs that we are a part of have been in much the same boat too so I urge you all to try to ‘shop local’ and support your club in whatever way you can over the coming months.

“The US Masters, which is back being played in its traditional date in April  in 2021, has always marked the start of the golfing season for many people, but I think that will definitely move a couple of weeks earlier this year to those last few days in March!”

A spokesman for Worlebury Golf Club also in Somerset, added: “Not being able to play amateur sport has been a real mental health challenge for vast numbers of people, no more so than excess of two million amateur golfers in England, who during the restrictions imposed by the UK government in 2020, found the mental and physical health benefits of playing golf such a welcome rest bite during the challenging times.

“It was very disappointing that the golf courses were instructed to close on January 5, despite England Golf lobbying the government to reconsider this decision, and especially as the Scottish government has allowed golf to be played under strict protocols during their lockdown.

“Nevertheless, during the lockdown the greenkeeping teams of all local courses have been hard at work maintaining the courses and taking the opportunity to make changes and improvements in readiness for a return to golf.

“Therefore, it was a real lift for everyone involved with golf when the PM announced that with a continued successful vaccine deployment programme and the falling infection rate, that outdoor sports facilities will be allowed to reopen on March 29.

“Roll on the date when golfers of all abilities are able to play again and are given a stark reminder that their game is not as good as their imagination has been over the past 12 weeks!”

Wedmore Golf Club. Image from Facebook

While Wedmore Golf Club stated: “The news that golf courses could reopen on March 29 was greeted universally by golfers with a sense of relief. At least now there was a date to look forward to even if this is a ‘not before date’ subject to progress continuing to be made in overcoming the pandemic.

“To be honest, if you had to not play golf for a couple of months you would probably choose to avoid the cold and wet in January and February. Now with signs of spring everywhere anticipation is building rapidly.

“There will still be restrictions of course, the clubhouse will not be open, it will be April 12 at the earliest before that can happen and May 17 before any indoor hospitality can take place.

“Just playing will do for the moment, though, and this time shots will go long and straight and putts will fall. It’s time to get the clubs cleaned again and try a few practice swings in the garden!”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 11, 2021 06:47
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3 Comments

  1. Timms March 12, 13:02

    You would like to think every English golf club would be welcoming back golfers on the 29th March.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Peter March 11, 15:10

    Great to hear !! What always concerns me is, this very thing !! Busy golf courses !! Private clubs expect to be busy, but there is nothing more important than signing new members !! When we get busy, that’s the time to implement those plans to grow membership !!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Stuart H March 11, 15:01

    If there is a surge in new members I feel perhaps Clubs should introduce a Covid Surcharge for joining members. For those of us who have been members during the past year we have paid for Golf we have not received so should benefit from lower subscriptions for the next year funded by the Covid Surcharge.

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