For the first time since closing their gates in late 2020, Monday marked the occasion when all golf clubs across the island could reopen their fairways.
Golf resumed in Northern Ireland earlier this month but as the latest Irish Government’s easing of restrictions took effect, all 382 golf clubs affiliated to Golf Ireland have now welcomed members back to play.
Golfers flocked to the course this morning with the early risers taking advantage of the sunny spring conditions. First to the tee at Co. Louth Golf Club were friends, Darren Bohill and Padraic Smith, who began their round at 7.30am before heading home to work.
“I missed the general camaraderie, the social element of playing golf,” said Smith. “My dogs have had enough walks for a while so it’s nice to carry the clubs around instead. The place is in fantastic condition and I’d say all the courses around the country are the same, they’ve had a good rest, it was really great to get out again.”
Mia Quinn, also from Co. Louth Golf Club was equally excited for the return.
“I missed the interaction with my pals, the camaraderie of your friends and the sport itself, getting out and hitting that golf ball. I just love it out here, out on the golf course where nobody can get near you, it’s just heaven, my place of peace! We’ve had the most beautiful morning here, the sun is shining and I’ve no expectations so I’m just looking forward to getting out on the golf course.”
Father and son duo Patrick and Jake Moran spoke about the idea of just being out again, taking the good shots with the bad, and getting one step closer to a return to normal life.
“It’s just the relaxation of it, and being able to get out and about and return to some kind of normality. It kind of represents normality to a certain extent and that life is starting to get going again.”
Monday is the first step in the journey to the resumption of full activity and while Government travel and household restrictions apply initially, golfers welcome the fact that the sport is one of the first activities which has been allowed to resume under the ongoing Level 5 restrictions.
As the sport’s governing body, Golf Ireland are prioritising members in the first phase of reopening, as was done in 2020. This is to be kept under review and an update to clubs will be shared when visitors and members’ guests will be permitted in later stages of reopening.
All updates regarding Covid-19 and golf are available at www.golfireland.ie/covid-19
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