Excitement is rising for Golfers across Sheffield at the prospect of getting back onto the course ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech to the nation, on Sunday.

It is widely expected that, in his speech, the PM will announce the lifting of some restrictions. It’s also very much anticipated that golf will be one of the first sports Brits will be allowed to get involved in after months of nationwide lockdown.

Sheffield’s largest operator of golf courses, Sheffield City Trust, has announced the changes that they’ve put in place to ensure the safety of golfers when the game is allowed to restart, which could be as soon as Monday. These changes give us a good insight into how the game will be played and how other sports will be affected when the restrictions are eased further.

Sheffield City Trust’s Golf General Manager, Tom Booth, said:

“Since the start of lockdown, our greenkeepers have been working hard to make sure the golf course remains in good condition so that we can reopen to the public as soon as possible.

“We’re ready to take bookings for tee-off times as soon as there is an official date, with members able to book tee-off times up to three weeks in advance.

“As well as having a thriving membership base, our golf courses proudly offer pay and play access to anyone.  For any non-members and those currently looking to return to the sport, we’re offering a chance to register your interest in signing up. By doing so, you’ll receive one of our lifeCARDs that gives discounted rates across all Sheffield City Trust venues, free of charge.”

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the Trust has made some changes to how the game will be played. This will ensure the safety of players and staff and help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Full details of the changes the Trust are making can be seen below:

Changes to Sheffield City Trust’s golf operation

  • All rounds of golf must be pre-booked and paid for in advance (either online at siv.org.uk/golf or by calling the course directly)
  • Rakes will be removed from bunkers, hole cups will be turned upside down and all flags are to remain in the holes.
  • Social distancing measures (min. 2m between individuals not living in the same household) remain in place at all golf courses.
  • The number of customers permitted in the receptions and pro shops will be limited to a maximum of 2 people.
  • Screens will be placed around reception desks.
  • Rigorous cleaning measures will be in place.
  • PPE will be worn by staff members should a first aid incident arise.
  • Clubhouses will remain closed until further notice.

Players can support these on-going efforts by observing the following recommendations:

  • Keeping your distance from your playing partners and other golfers.
  • Encourage ‘gimmies’ within 1 putter length. We recommend the purchase of “green grippers” to retrieve your ball from the hole.
  • Treat bunkers as GUR (Ground under repair)
  • Only use and touch your own equipment.
  • Refrain from shaking your playing partner’s hand.
  • Print off your scorecard at home.
  • Contactless and card payments are encouraged.

Sheffield City Trust Chief Executive, Andrew Snelling, said:

“The health and safety of our members and colleagues always remains our top priority, and this means we’ve had to make some small changes to how the game is played.

“These changes will ensure the safety of our members while allowing them to enjoy being back out on the course for the first time in months.

“As the health and wellbeing charity, we’re really excited to reopen and continue to support Sheffield to stay active.

“I want to thank all of our members for remaining patient and understanding throughout this time. I’m sure all of our members will join me in thanking our staff who have been working hard to make sure all of our courses are ready to open.”

Alongside their portfolio of golf courses in Sheffield and Derbyshire, Sheffield City Trust, operates numerous fitness and leisure venues across the Sheffield City Region. This includes Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EISS), IceSheffield and the FlyDSA Arena.

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