Patience is a vitue for golfers

Patience is a vitue for golfers

By Richard Bee | 23/02/2021

Patience is a vitue for golfers

IT has been more than six weeks since the country was placed into a third national lockdown and in truth golfers are still no nearer to knowing when they will be able to play again.

Various dates have been suggested on social media but it is more to get a story moving than actual fact.

What is certain is that as the weather improves then so golfers' frustrations will rise.

In truth there haven't been many days when courses would have been playable during this lockdown, but the forecast for this weekend is good and the reality of the situation will no doubt hit home.

Of course, the priority at the moment is getting cases of Covid-19 and the death rate down and nothing I write should take away from the fact that golf is only a sport.

But while it is only a sport, it also costs, and many members of clubs are still paying fees and getting nothing for their money.

Clubs remain reliant on the loyalty of members and of them understanding the current situation.

In the worst case scenario, if members decided not to pay their fees then clubs may go out of business. That's a situation every golfer of every club I'm sure is aware of and which is why the vast majority have continued to support them.

That said, we wouldn't do a weekly shop, pay for the goods and walk out with an empty trolley, and that pretty much sums up what members of golf (and other clubs for that matter) clubs are currently doing. Therefore, members will no doubt want to know where their membership fees are going.

At Rotherham Golf Club, all the staff were kept on during November's lockdown and the January one to prepare the course for the spring, bearing in mind we were initially told February 22 would be the review date.

This has given the greens staff the chance to do far more than would usually be possible.

With no golfers on the course, significant tree work has been carried out, the pond on 10 has been opened up, a path on 12 has been restored to as it once was and a new tee is being built on 7.

Greens renovation, usually done in April, has been done early and work on old and new drainage has taken place.

The “sports bar” has also been renovated to enhance the members and visitors' club experience.

At Sitwell Park, again, significant tree work has been carried out as well as renovating ponds and clearing drains; work that given the weather has been nothing short of essential.

The work carried out at Rotherham and Sitwell will have been pretty similar at all clubs, and some staff will have been furloughed, so when we do get back to playing the courses will no doubt look different but also hopefully deliver a longer playing season because most works are carried out with that in mind.

So while us members are in reality paying, have paid, or have a membership renewal due, please look back and remember that the clubs have had no choice in what has caused this break in play.

We probably wouldn't have played much anyway, and when we do go back, the courses in all truth will look far better for the pause.

I, as much as the next person who plays golf, want to get back playing.

Working in the industry, as I do, I may have a bias towards members continuing to support clubs, but when this is over it will all be for the better.