This news follows the latest announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson who revised lockdown restrictions on Sunday which now allows people to go to work if they can't work from home. Furthermore, he has given people permission for unlimited outdoor exercise, visits to the park and other green spaces- with social distancing being maintained at all time with other visitors.
Peterborough is home to two golf courses - Thorpe Wood Golf Course and Orton Meadows Golf Course. It’s exciting news for the keen golfing community, but it has made the managers nervous about re-opening in the current climate after being shut for weeks.
Nene Golf Ltd runs the two golf courses and has lost out on staying open for their busiest time of the year, which has impacted their business leading to a probable annual financial loss for the first time.
Nevertheless, they have put in new measures to minimise the risk of infection and are looking forward to welcoming golfers from Wednesday, May 13.
Director at Nene Golf Ltd Simon Fitton has got the lawnmower out while some of his staff are still on furlough.
Speaking to Peterborough Matters he said: “Both courses will open as follows: Orton Meadows on Wednesday, May 13, and Thorpe Wood on Monday, May 18.
“The business has been hugely affected by missing our busiest period of the year, we will make an annual financial loss for the first time due to the seasonal nature of our turnover. Although I believe the Government have done some great things to assist us and the pandemic has been a change to the whole world clearly.
“Eighteen of 21 staff had been furloughed and some have been brought back in this week to get ready to open. As sole director I adapted and got mowing to cover some of the furloughed staff!
“Golf is a great outlet for people – the mental and physical benefits will never have been as important as they are now. It is difficult to think about the tragic context in which we are re-opening, with so many people and families affected by the pandemic, but we hope we can offer that opportunity for people to start to get back to the new normal.”
The golf courses have brought in strict new guidelines to help keep infection at bay.
Talking about the new changes, Simon adds: “Golf has changed quite a bit – and the social aspect is the biggest change to golf and the thing people will miss but these are all steps that people understand we must make.”
The green light to re-open led to many booking systems crashing, invluding Peterborough, and Simon confirmed they are working to fix it.
These are the changes in detail, being brought in for golfers at both the Peterborough golf courses:
• Change your shoes in the car park.
• Toilets will be available with doors open if use is necessary.
• Do not touch the golf equipment or clothing of any other player e.g. pick opponents ball out of hole, pick up ‘gimmie’ putts, move trolleys etc.
• Do not borrow or swap other golfers’ clubs.
• Carry personal hand sanitizer bottles/wipes.
• Consume ‘own’ food and beverages and take rubbish home.
• ‘Shake hands’ on completion of the round by verbal action only.
Playing the Game
• Until further notice golf may ONLY be played in 2 balls only unless players are from the same household. This mad adjust with new guidance.
• ALL tee times MUST be booked prior to arrival at the course.
• Tee times will be available from 7.00am – 6.00pm in 8-minute intervals.
• All players MUST check-in on arrival.
Please do not arrive more than 15 minutes before you tee time, remain in your car until time.
• Thorpe Wood - Please park with gaps between parked vehicles wherever possible.
• Orton Meadows – there will be plenty of space as The Granary remains closed and Rutland Cycles is operating with limited access.
The Office will be open on weekdays between 9am and 2.00pm and only accessible only via email or telephone.
• Golfers can use own vehicles with normal restrictions.
• Hire Buggies are available - One rider only on each vehicle unless both are from the same household.
Practice Area and Driving Range
• The Range will also open on 18th May 09:00.
• No coaching will be available but will be reviewed after 14 days.
When On the Course
• Please Note - Course Staff always have priority.
• Tee-off from ‘posts’ or tee markers
• Do not remove or touch flagsticks
• Hole cups will be placed ‘upside down’ for ball retrieval
• Ball washers, benches, water fountains are all out of action
• Use your foot or your club to smooth bunker footprints.
• ‘Playing through’ will only be permitted where it can be achieved safely by social distancing
• Cross bridges one at a time
• Observe social distancing around bottlenecks on the course
• Toilets are available to use - these will be contractor cleaned daily but sanitized more regularly – doors will be open.
Will be open from 7.00am to 7.00pm A counter will be in operation to check in for play and purchase goods safely. If not paid online, we will only take a Contactless Card payment, cash will no longer be accepted.
Washing your hands on a regular basis for 20 seconds and using alcohol gels.
Wearing a mask and gloves at appropriate times when social distancing is difficult to adhere to.
Regular cleaning of touch points and surfaces with wipes throughout the day.
The golf course management said people must follow the rules and help keep the area safe for everyone.