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Why business is booming at a town’s golf club post lockdown

PUBLISHED: 06:30 18 July 2020

Golfers have returned to Thetford Golf Club after lockdown. Photo: Emily Thomson

Golfers have returned to Thetford Golf Club after lockdown. Photo: Emily Thomson

Archant

Open space, fresh air and gentle exercise - just some of the reasons why business is booming at a town’s golf club post lockdown.

Thetford Golf Club manager, Malcolm Grubb, said business is booming post lockdown. Photo: Emily ThomsonThetford Golf Club manager, Malcolm Grubb, said business is booming post lockdown. Photo: Emily Thomson

With around 80 new members and tee times fully booked, Thetford Golf Club, on Brandon Road, has been in demand since rules eased.

Malcolm Grubb, club manager, said despite making a slow return to normality with a few minor changes around the course, golfers have been getting “back into the swing of things”.

He said: “Golf is the perfect sport post-lockdown.

“You can have four people who can keep their distance all the way around the golf course, it’s gentle exercise which is good for returning to health after being stuck in the house, fresh air, lovely scenery and a little taste of nature.

Golfers have returned to Thetford Golf Club after lockdown. Photo: Emily ThomsonGolfers have returned to Thetford Golf Club after lockdown. Photo: Emily Thomson

“We have lots of deers, hares, pheasants and a beautiful backdrop.

“Of course, there are some changes but everyone accepts we are in a strange situation and we have to adhere by the guidelines from the government and golf authorities.

“But we are happy to do that because it enables us to play the game that we love.”

Since the golf club’s return, only members have been allowed to use the course and some of the new rules include 10-minute gaps between booked tee times and a maximum of four people per group.

Golfers have returned to Thetford Golf Club after lockdown. Photo: Emily ThomsonGolfers have returned to Thetford Golf Club after lockdown. Photo: Emily Thomson

While the clubhouse, lockers and changing rooms are out of use, golfers have been asked to get changed before they arrive and remain in their cars until 15 minutes before their tee time.

The changes when playing on the course itself include no half-way house, which would usually serve food and drink, staying socially distanced, not being allowed to touch flags and having to mark their own score cards.

But while members make the most of the course, in Thetford Forest, Mr Grubb said the club has taken a financial hit while non-members, groups and societies have been unable to visit.

He added: “When we restarted, we started slowly, with just two people at a time, and we had big intervals of 12 minutes between each group – that meant we had no space for visitors or guests.

Golfers have returned to Thetford Golf Club after lockdown. Photo: Emily ThomsonGolfers have returned to Thetford Golf Club after lockdown. Photo: Emily Thomson

“Only members could play so we had a big boost of new members - more than 80 since lockdown.

“But we usually have a society or groups of people who come and spend a whole day here, a round of golf, a meal and lots to drink, and that is a big income stream for us which has been lost entirely.

“We are looking for visitors to return by the end of this month or start of august. We are also looking to reopen our club house very shortly.”

Golfers have returned to Thetford Golf Club after lockdown. Photo: Emily ThomsonGolfers have returned to Thetford Golf Club after lockdown. Photo: Emily Thomson

Golfers have returned to Thetford Golf Club after lockdown. Photo: Emily ThomsonGolfers have returned to Thetford Golf Club after lockdown. Photo: Emily Thomson

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