There is a mounting sense of anticipation about the place as we approach the return of golf to the links on Monday. There was a great buzz about the place today as final preparations were put in place and members arrived down on mass to pay fees. Go raibh míle maith agaibh. Thanks to Damien and his team for their care of our course and for their work in ensuring that we are safe to return. Before I run out of ‘thank yous’ I have to mention our hard-working council who have been beavering away in the background, liaising with the authorities, paying bills, making plans and personally, thank you for your counsel and support.
I won’t list the measures that we have in place again, other than to say that we are following the GUI/ILGU protocol diligently. I should point out that our practice areas will remain closed but our locker rooms, due to the design, will be open. Please, if using the lockers do not linger. NO LOCKER LINGERERS! N.B. The clubhouse will remain closed but the toilet will be open on restricted hours. We plan to open at 7.30 a.m. and close at 8.30 p.m. if resources allow. Please keep an eye out for updates on times.
Booking is essential. We are using the BRS system for bookings. Anyone experiencing difficulties booking should contact the shop initially. Bookings will start from 7 a.m. to allow the green-keepers to get ahead of the game. From Wednesday we will be able to book up to 7 days ahead. This will be kept under review so that we can assure that everyone gets a chance to play. Names must be entered from the menu. “Guest” entries will be removed. When arriving for tee time please register your presence at the shop. If the shop is closed please register your attendance against your name on the time-sheet which will be left at the locker room doors.
On the course the main changes will be one club length placing in bunkers. (please smooth bunkers as well as possible on exiting) Do not touch pins. Use the Putt Buddy by raising the hook with your putter. 6 inch placing on fairways.
For those of us lucky enough to get out on Monday, enjoy! For those who have to wait…. be patient! As I’ve mentioned, we will be following the protocol. The protocol is set amidst the HSE restrictions that are in place in the country. It is not for me to preach to our members. You are all big enough and ugly enough to make your own decisions. But please consider the guidelines and remember why we are where we are at this moment in time. We have to keep ourselves and others safe. We have done well so far and we are about to get back to golf. The wrong move now and not only will it reflect badly on our game and our club, but it may lead to an increase in the virus threat.
We are about to take a big step, but it’s just a first step. Hopefully the country will see that golf is capable of being played in a way that is responsible within the framework of Social Distancing so that we can move along the Road-map to its conclusion.
In the meantime, and as a precursor to our return, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Ricky Fowler and Matt Wolfe will be playing a skins game live on Sky on Sunday night from 7 p.m. For those who aren’t lucky enough to have Sky and will miss the spectacle, you can call down to the club on Monday where you’ll be able to watch Kevin Daly tee-off at 15.46!