GOLFERS at clubs across the region are getting ready to tee off once more on Monday when courses reopen following the Covid lockdown.

Under the government’s four-stage easing of coronavirus restrictions, outdoor sports facilities, including golf courses and tennis courts can reopen from Monday, and formally organised outdoor sports can restart.

At Bedale Golf Club, the official restart of golf will be marked by captains David Hall and Patricia Knox, and vice captains elect Mike Edwards and Janice Walker heading to the first tee for a 7.30am tee off.

The course will then remain open all day for member participation. A spokesperson for the club said: “We then head straight into the golf season with the first competition of 2021 being the Thursday Stableford on Thursday, April 1, and the Friday Animals competition on Friday, April 2. The first major competition of the season will be the mens, ladies and juniors claret jug, a tough two-round medal competition on Sunday and Monday, April 4 and 5. Then later in April we have the first seniors open on Friday, April 23, and the Thompson Brown Mixed Open on Sunday, April 25, which are the first two events where we anticipate allowing visiting golfers, with a view to then allowing casual visitors again from May 1.”

During the latest lockdown, where restrictions have allowed, staff and member volunteers have been pruning trees, improving paths and carrying out renovations, including drainage and general bunker work, whilst also consistently looking after the greens. Off the course, improvements have been completed to the driving net facilities, and the bar/lounge.

The spokesperson added: “Initially, from March 29, the golf course will be open to members only, and clubhouse for toilet facilities only, however, we are currently working towards a roadmap to open the bar for outdoor service from week commencing April 12, should the restriction lifts be confirmed nearer the time. Our pro shop also intends to open from week commencing April 12.

“We look forward to welcoming golfers and visitors back to Bedale Golf Club, and a busy and successful season in 2021.”

At Richmond Golf Club, Iain Leversuch, head greenkeeper, together with his team, have been working hard to ensure the course is in top condition for play to recommence. Despite the rain, snow, wind and fog, the work has gone on.

Iain said: “We have undertaken significant tree and hedge pruning, rebuilt tee areas, cut fairways and greens and improved the practice facilities. This latter focus is particularly important to enable European Tour golfer Graeme Storm and his academy, based at Richmond, to coach golfers with a particular focus on ladies and juniors this coming season.”

Graeme Storm added: “We look forward to welcoming members back to Richmond and meeting new members. Here’s to a great golfing season.”