Golf clubs prepare to tee off again after getting the green light to reopen

PUBLISHED: 18:51 12 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:30 13 May 2020

General manager at Dunston Hall, David Graham. Pic: Archant

General manager at Dunston Hall, David Graham. Pic: Archant

Golf courses around Norfolk are preparing to reopen after seven weeks of lockdown – but under strict new government guidelines.

In accordance with the prime minister’s easing of some coronavirus restrictions, golf can now be played along with other outdoor sports.

It was initially thought golf could only be played either alone or within a household group, but the renewed guidance has clarified it can be played with someone from outside a household group – but the game would be limited to two players only.

After almost two months of lockdown, clubs across the county, both privately-run and also attached to hotels and leisure complexes, were rejoicing at the news.

Tim Stephens, secretary of the Royal West Norfolk golf club in Brancaster, said they were hoping to reopen from Wednesday for members only.

Dunston Hall golf course. Pic: Dunston HallDunston Hall golf course. Pic: Dunston Hall

“People have to book their tee time and only two can play a game, so there are quite a few restrictions but people are so desperate to play. With managing the booking system, we will know exactly who and how many are on the golf course. People have been really missing their hobby.”

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The Royal West Norfolk golf club at Brancaster. Pic: Archant libraryThe Royal West Norfolk golf club at Brancaster. Pic: Archant library

He said he thought the club, which has around 900 members, could cope because many did not live locally. He said the course had been maintained under government guidelines of essential maintenance during lockdown.

But he did not envisage any food or drink offering at this stage.

At Dunston Hall Hotel in Norwich, general manager David Graham announced that its golf course would also reopen from Wednesday.

“We hope that in the coming weeks we will also reopen our hotel accommodation and other facilities as government lockdown rules change,” he said.

At the Barnham Broom hotel, golf and spa complex, it announced it was planning to reopen at the weekend for golf and also tennis.

A spokeswoman said: “The golf must be pre-booked and it’s also limited to two people per tee time. I believe we are going to be offering takeaway food and drink to purchase to take out on the course with you, such as paninis, hot sausage rolls, hot drinks and bottled drinks.”

Hunstanton golf club posted on Twitter that it was reopening from 8am on Wednesday. It tweeted: “One and two ball only. You can play with one person outside of your household.”

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