I Have Itchy Feet to Start Playing Golf Again
I WANT to offer heartfelt thanks to everybody who responded to the piece I wrote in which I said that I was struggling to find any enthusiasm for returning to the golf course. First of all, I want to assure all of you that I am not sitting at home in my flat feeling sorry for myself - I have been getting out enjoying plenty of fresh air.
And here’s the thing…having listened to all of your stories, I am starting to get itchy feet. Maybe it is time to get out there and start hitting golf balls again. And maybe doing so on my own initially won’t be so terribly bad after all. As a result of my article, a couple of golf clubs even told me that I would be welcome to come along and enjoy their facilities. It has been heartwarming.
Unlike many of you, I don’t have the space to have put a net up in my back garden, so I haven’t touched my clubs for weeks, other than to clean them, and my golf shoes. But I am getting itchy feet.
It has also been fascinating to read about the different ways clubs are tackling the return to play. Silvermere Golf Club has come up with one of the most innovative approaches. It has suspended membership and is providing its members with reduced rates while only two-balls are allowed.
Here are a selection of your comments in response to my article:
"I totally agree. It just feels.....empty. For me, the enjoyment of a club golfer having a knock is to share the experience with someone. Here in Wales we have to have one-ballers, unless someone in your house plays and they can join you. So for me, I will wait to share my first tee off, that should be fun, with a friend to laugh at me there and then. Then I can do the same when they tee off. For now, I will just walk and enjoy how fantastic the course looks, until someone not repairing a pitch mark gives me something new to moan about."
"Played yesterday with my golf partner of thirty years and it was truly joyful. Just like when I started playing more than 50 years ago - turn up, meet up and tee up, and no clubhouse! Great to chat, sun shining, course looking pretty good, round in 3h15m, shot 80. My new golf shoes have no spikes so I drove to the club in those. In time I might miss the competitions and the roll-ups but for now this suits me just fine, as long as I can beat the system and get another tee time, maybe Monday. Get out there, Derek, even on your own, pretend you're twenty-something again and you're supposed to be working…"
"I played with my brother. Good in two counts. I hadn’t seen him for weeks and we got to walk the fairways again, albeit six feet apart! The golf was almost secondary but we both shot reasonable scores and he put into practice the swing changes he had made while shooting into a net for the lockdown period. This in itself was uplifting as he had lost a little love for the game at the end of last year and, as a big brother, I could feel his pain as he is infinitely the better player out of the two of us. So for me, yesterday was all about trying to the embrace the new ‘normal' for the time being and getting back in “almost” physical but definitely ‘mental' touch with a family member. I for one can’t wait to get out again with any of my regular four ball or society mates to get a feeling of moving forward in these strange days!”
"For me golf has always been 80% competition and exercise and the benefits of being out in the open air and 20% socialising. Would appreciated the bunkers being back in play and competitions restarting more than the bar being open. Our club is solid booked from first tee-time to twilight with two-balls able to get round in 3 hours. Appreciate being able to have a chat and share lockdown stories with my playing partner but the fact we are able to play and enjoy my favourite recreation is appreciated in itself. Feel so lucky to have the privilege to be able to play when so many people are suffering and struggling.”
"I played yesterday and it was so uplifting - a bit of normal life restored and something to look forward to. Sure we could only wave and shout across fairways and car park to friends but to do even those little things was great. Playing again was a joy. The golf was not brilliant but I loved it. I think you are cutting off your nose to spite your face a little. Try it.”
"Each to their own. I will be playing later this week, and even with the restrictions that have been well publicised, I am sure I will have a fantastic time. Yes, I will be careful - I understand why the restrictions are there and will respect them in full. But as the commenter below says, the pluses far outweigh the negatives.”
"Golf is not just about socialising, it is fresh air, exercise and vitamin D sunshine to boost your immune system when it is sunny. Just because you can’t shake hands or have a beer in the clubhouse doesn’t mean you can’t be sociable. Get a life, get some exercise and breathe in clean fresh air instead of being cooped up."
Did you feel similar to Derek, or has the return of golf in England made a positive difference to your life? If you are someone in search of a tee time, see our new feature, How to Find a Golf Tee Time This Week, and let us know how you get on.
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