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Golfers’ joy as Newark Golf Club, Southwell Golf Club and Norwood Park reopens some of its services following government advice

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Newark Golf Club has reopened following the latest government advice — and for club captain Keith Whitfield, who said he spoke for many members, it is a feeling of joy as sport returns, despite the social distancing guidelines.

Whitfield said the club would follow the advice given from England Golf and The R&A, who released a joint statement for clubs up and down the country.

NEWARK GOLF CLUB reopened its course yesterday and is using an online booking system to ensure social distancing is maintained.
NEWARK GOLF CLUB reopened its course yesterday and is using an online booking system to ensure social distancing is maintained.

It reads: “All outdoor sport must be done alone or within a household group and that includes golf.

“We must ensure that the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved from golfers, to club staff and greenkeepers is maintained at all times.

“Golf clubs and golfers have observed the lockdown very well and must keep it up and act responsibly as play resumes.

“We are seeking further clarification from the government regarding other golf-related facilities.”

Whitfield said the club was fortunate as it did not have a public footpath within its facilities as that could have potentially closed some holes, however, he said member will still be made to follow extra measures such as arriving no earlier than 15 minutes before teeing-off and the closure of practice areas.

Despite this, he is delighted to get back out on the green.

“I speak for many members when I say it has been much harder than we could have imagined,” said Whitfield.

“You might miss a week here and there, maybe a fortnight because of injury, but missing eight weeks, for a lot of people, has been very hard.

“If you’re a member of any club you are going to miss the social side to it as well as playing the game.

“For a lot of us that is the case. We haven’t been meeting up with friends that we have been seeing at the club for many, many years.”

England Golf produced a series of ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ guidelines to enable golfers, clubs and counties to prepare in advance for golf’s return.

Southwell Golf Club will be open for members and visitors from Friday (May 15).

Given the number of Government restrictions still in place, the club has asked all golfers to follow the various operational steps that it has put in place for this period in both booking and playing their rounds.

Until further notice, the clubhouse and practice green/bunker will remain closed.

"Whilst a number of these restrictions will be different from what everyone at the club is used to, we of course look forward to welcoming golfers back and appreciate everyone’s support and understanding at this difficult time," said executive director Mark Clayton.

The headline procedures introduced at Southwell are:

  • Playing groups are limited to a maximum of two people (a 2-ball) unless you are part of the same household when 3 and 4 balls are permitted.
  • All golfers must book in advance of arrival at the course to avoid disappointment (there will be limitations around booking multiple slots)
  • Green fees are £15pp midweek and £20pp weekends, with fees reduced to £10 for juniors (under the age of 18) when accompanied by an adult.
  • Golfers should maintain the 2m social distancing rule at all times.
  • Flagsticks should remain in the hole and not touched.
  • The clubhouse is closed until further notice

Norwood Park has also resumed a limited service for its members.

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