At last some good news!!
Rumours are intensifying that the UK government could be set to announce an easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions next week, with the potential for some of the country’s courses being allowed to re-open for play from Monday, May 11.
Today the Isle of Man opens it courses and France is preparing to open their courses next week.
Golf has fared well in sports and the government is hoping that golf will be one of the sports which will be deemed safe and practical for people to play as they look to enjoy the health benefits of fresh air and exercise in a natural environment.
Vince and his team of Greenkeepers have carried out sterling work throughout golf’s shutdown and if the return to golf is due shortly they will have a lot of work to prepare the course as we await the government measures to combat COVID-19 for opening.
These are some of the expected measures that we’ll all need to prepare for
On the Course
- All rakes will be removed and golfers will be expected to “make their very best efforts” to smooth the sand using their clubs and feet. If required, the club will introduce a local rule allowing players to place the ball within one club-length of the original spot not nearer to the hole.
- Ball washers and drinking fountains will be covered up.
- Benches and bins will be covered or removed and would ask all members to take their rubbish off the course with them.
- The Flagsticks must not be removed. We will be filling the holes with foam that can drain close to the top of the hole so that you can retrieve your ball easily.
Before the Round
- As we are expecting a high demand to get back on the course the club will be organising tee times that will need to be booked in the professional shop. If you are wishing to play early in the morning then you will need to book your tee time on the day before. Members must pre-book a tee time by calling the pro shop to ask for availability prior to arrival and no one will be allowed on the course without a tee time thus ensuring the safety of staff and golfers.
- The maximum numbers of golfers in a group per tee time will be confirmed by the club in accordance with any government requirements.
- There will be a minimum of 10-minute intervals between tee times
Arrival and Waiting to Play
- The clubhouse and locker room facilities will be closed and members will need to empty their lockers (we will be informing timings)
- We will await Government guidelines on essential access (for example to use the toilets)
- Players should arrive ready to play, as much as possible. It is recommended that they don’t get out of their cars to get their clubs until 15 minutes before their tee time and must adhere to social distancing in the car park.
- Golfers will be advised on social distancing requirements and when they should arrive for their game to avoid congestion.
- The professional shop will be open and Tony will ensure social distancing
- Trolleys and buggies will only be available for hire if we can provide sanitising practices.
- The putting green will only be open to members due to tee off.
During the Round
- Golfers are reminded to keep at least two metres apart
After the Round
- After the round, players must not shake hands and should maintain the two-metre distance from each other. They must then leave the course and club immediately.
- The committee will inform members if there is to be competition play and any local rules that may be enforced from time to time
- Practice areas, including practice nets and practice putting greens, must be closed unless safe sanitising practices can be guaranteed..
Back to the work being carried out this week.
We have, at last, had some much needed rainfall that has started to green up the fairways. Typically when the rough begins to grow, the new rough cutter broke down and we are eagerly awaiting a new part to continue cutting the rough. The 3rd/18th teeing area is now nearing completion and looking good. This will be ready for play when we eventually return to the course.
Picture of trees (above)
Once again, many thanks to all the members who have kindly sponsored trees. This will bring some lovely colour to the course. The 40 trees have all been planted and I will be tagging them all with the members names who sponsored the tree and a plan of the planted trees will be with you all shortly.
On a personal note please can I thank Steve Omlo, for all his help and great knowledge in managing the plantation of all the new trees.
Please keep safe and when we return be especially mindful of others