How Golf Breaks Have Changed With COVID Regulations
GOLF breaks in the UK have taken on a whole new dimension as we learn to live with social distancing and Covid-19 restrictions. But it doesn’t mean your enjoyment should be ruined or that you should lock the front door and remain at home - far from it.
Many positives have emerged, not least the vastly improved standards of hygiene we are all now experiencing - something that many of you might actually believe is overdue. Stay at any golf resort now and the first thing that will strike you is that wherever you turn you will find hand sanitiser. It is long overdue. And there are also plenty of bargains to be had as venues jostle to attract customers.
I recently spent some time at Dunston Hall near Norwich. The experience was a different one but for all the right reasons. Social distancing measures were strictly enforced in all areas - it is, let’s face it, the new normal, and I felt completely safe.
David Graham, the general manager, said: "Since reopening on July 5 we have had to change many of the aspects of how we operate the hotel from the way we check guest in to how we clean the rooms and service the food and beverage.
"The staff have had to adjust to our new ways of working and our customers have had to adjust to how we operate. All of this has taken a lot of time, planning and organisation. Planning the social distancing and how we move guests around the building was a challenge due to the layout of the hotel. The team have taken everything on board and have performed fantastically through a very busy period.
"The business came back to the hotel much quicker than perhaps we expected due to the travel restrictions for going abroad. We achieved an occupancy of 95% in August which was busier than in August 2019.”
Our travel partners, Golfbreaks, have issued some advice and guidance.
Take face masks with you, as you will be expected to wear them in the pro shop and in other areas of the hotel/resort.
With social distancing measures in place, there may find slightly longer queues at check-in - this was something we experienced at Dunston Hall. Some venues may ask you to pre-register on an app to speed up the process.
For additional security, your temperature may be taken upon arrival.
Venues will implement social distancing measures throughout the complex. At Dunston this was rigorously enforced, especially in the bars and restaurants.
Restaurant layouts and dining options have now changed - check the resort’s website before you go, and follow instructions when you get there and remember that although there may be some inconvenience, this is all about keeping us safe.
Restrictions on table sizes must now be adhered to - no more than six of you will be able to dine together.
Your resort will offer table service for drinks and dinner, which means that things may take a little longer than we are accustomed to.
Indoor gyms, spas and swimming pools are now open but you will have to make appointments. At Dunston, the changing rooms were still not being used so we had to arrive ready to swim and return to our rooms afterwards to shower and change back into our clothes.
There will be all sorts of changes when it comes to your golf. Obviously, you are still expected to observe social distancing measures. Buggies will be sanitised and you may find that they are either restricted to one person of that they have been fitted with screens between users. Check with the pro shop to find out what you can expect.
Some on-course furniture such as benches, all washers, shoe cleaning and bunker rakes may have been removed.
Many venues will no longer accept cash, with contactless payments on debit/credit cards nows being the preferred option.
According to Golfbreaks: “What we are seeing is the new normal, but clients are still enjoying a nice cold drink after a round with the increased table service on offer. Reduced menus are in place at venues, however they still offer a good range of dining options."
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