‘We are full from the first tee to the last’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 1, 2021 12:04

Several English golf clubs have reported that their first few days back has resulted in huge participation.

Nick Berry, the golf professional at Buxton and High Peak Golf Club, said every tee slot was taken on the Monday until after 5pm: “It’s looking really busy over the next couple of weeks as well. We do still have the odd slot available throughout the days but generally we’re going to be busy from start to finish.

“I’d say we had around 200 people booked over the course of Monday and the people I’ve spoken to so far are all really excited. They’ve been chomping at the bit to get back and the weather’s nice for it today as well.

“I think the reason why people are so glad to be back is definitely more to do with the social side of the game rather than any competition aspect.

“The guidelines aren’t too limiting for us because the rule of six is in place and golfers tend to play in groups of four anyway, so the only major thing is not being able to open the clubhouse yet.

Buxton and High Peak Golf Club. Image from Facebook

Morley Hayes Golf in Derbyshire’s golf operations manager, Max Howard said: “It was the same when we opened back in mid-May last year after the first lockdown when people were once again just really keen to get out and about.

“People are obviously very careful when they come back and we encourage safety through things like hand-washing stations – but overall I think we’re very used to playing under restrictions now.

“Right through the Bank Holiday weekend we’re fully booked and we’ve got some availability after that, but we’re looking at 10 days before we’ll be able to find anybody a tee time.

“At the moment I’ve only been able to get out onto the course in a work capacity so I can’t wait to get a game in myself.”

People are definitely enjoying the fitness side of it and it’s good to get regular, weekly exercise in but the main thing that people are enjoying is the camaraderie of it.

“There’s nothing better than getting some abuse from your friends after you’ve hit a bad shot!

“People are definitely going to be out of practice and so I think our golf pros will be benefiting from people wanting to brush up on their game.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to is absolutely loving it and it’s just a shame that we’re not able to open the bar yet, but I suppose it’s baby steps.”

Winter Hill Golf Club in Berkshire’s manager Ian McMahon: “We are full, pretty much from the first tee time to the last. And it will continue to be full for a while yet.

“People have been chomping at the bit, they really have. They are giddy with excitement. You can feel the sense of relief, people are just so pleased.

“It looks like it is going to be a vibrant summer.”

Maidenhead Golf Club. Image from Facebook

Nearby Maidenhead Golf Club’s general manager James Pugh said more than 200 members enjoyed the greens on the first day the club reopened. “It was a great atmosphere – plenty of smiling faces and just happy to be out there,” he said.

Some 164 golfers teed up at Marsden Park Golf Club in Lancashire on a sun-drenched first day and Neil Reeves, who runs the course with wife Trudi, said “it’s good to be back”.

“It was great to see everybody back out on the course. It’s been massively missed by so many people. To be back out, in the open air, meeting up with friends; it’s a huge boost for a lot of people. Not just physically either, but mentally.

“The golf course is a sanctuary for a lot of people. It’s a place where they can turn off their phones, forget about what’s going on at work or in their life.

“Being able to offer this again to people, it’s been a revelation for us.

“During the pandemic, when we were open, I think a lot of people jumped on golf, maybe more than other sports, because of how safe it was. We definitely had a lot of people taking it up last year. That was good to see.

“Even when we were closed though, the course was still being used, which was great. Walkers were using it, people were out sledging over Christmas; I’m glad it was here for people’s heath and recreation.

Marsden Park Golf Club. Image from Facebook

“Obviously, now we’re back playing golf we’ve taken to social media just to ask walkers to stay to the paths. We don’t want any injuries.

“We have doubled our membership, we’re employing more staff, and we’re a lot more secure. That’s also meant that we have been able to offer out other parts of the business in order to help other companies.

“I think with all the measures we have in place now, people know they can come and play golf safely, and I don’t see any reason whatsoever now why we would have to close again.

“Let’s just hope for plenty of sun.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 1, 2021 12:04
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1 Comment

  1. Jari April 1, 18:20

    a few ranges, a few of the club opened, the rest covered with snow, I’m jealous of you. Yesterday we closed gyms and indoor training places (Trackman etc.)

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