Firstly !!!!! – HAPPY NEW YEAR and may it prove to be a substantially better year once the vaccination program has progressed sufficiently for us all to get back to some degree of normality.
We inspected the course this morning and following a concerted effort by our grounds team, Neil, Richard and Matt, ably helped by a number of volunteers and the loan of an industrial pump by Lord De Ramsey a lot of the lying water has drained but the course will remain unplayable until later in the week at the earliest.
We have scheduled the next inspection for Wednesday and are hopeful that some play will be possible on Thursday or Friday but it will certainly not include all 18 holes and specific details on which holes are playable will be released on Wednesday. There will also be some areas that we want to restrict traffic over and these will be roped off and I ask all members to follow the directions.
Given the conditions I am afraid that buggies cannot be used and I would ask those members able to carry their bags to do so rather then to use their trollies in order to reduce the inevitable damage to the course. We advise navigating the course via the rough as much as possible and taking extra care around the greens complexes in particular.
As reported last week, as more information is released I will send out further updates and Stuart will open the booking system as soon as we can but, as is clear from the tier 4 guidelines, the pro shop will not be open as a shop but it can still provide golf items on a “click and collect” basis so please email Stuart in advance for any items you need. Stuart will be on-site on most days to maintain the booking system, providing phone cover, opening the toilets, offering lessons etc etc but probably working shorter hours.
Initial bookings will only be open to members and will remain so until we are in a better position to determine membership demand at which time we will then start opening up play to visitors. We will adopt the same procedures to those following the first lockdown, ie giving members an extended booking window and visitors only a couple of days so as to maintain fairness and priority to members.
It is vitally important that bookings are in line with government guidelines and, as members will be aware, we are now in tier 4 where the rules, as detailed on the England Golf website, are :
Golf can only be played in the following formats :
- Individual play
- Two-balls from same or different households/bubbles
- Three or fourballs involving people from the same household/bubble
By way of clarification,the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf – of which England Golf is a member – has issued the following statement addressing issues of play, retail, coaching and travel:
“The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf is happy to confirm that golf courses will be able to remain open when the new Tier 4 restrictions become effective in parts of England from 06:00 GMT on Sunday 20th December.
“In Tier 4 areas, golf courses can remain open for individuals playing with members of their own household or support bubble, or with one person from another household.
“As usual, social distancing is to be observed and all necessary steps are to be taken to ensure a COVID-19 secure environment.
“Under Tier 4 restrictions, non-essential retail – including Pro Shops and golf retailers – must close. Click and Collect will, however, be permitted.
“Outdoor coaching will be allowed on an individual basis or for multiple members of the same household or support bubble. Indoor coaching will be not be permitted.
“There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes, and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing.
“Custom fitting can take place outside on a one-to-one basis but is not permitted indoors.
Stuart sent out a message last week regarding payment of membership fees given that Judith is not in the office every day – Judith’s home number is 01487 813595 and any member who would prefer to ring and pay over the phone can now do so.
Best wishes to all and happy new year !!!!!
Chairman, Ramsey Golf and Bowls Club