I hope that this email finds you well. On behalf of the committee, I would like to keep you updated with the current situation in respect of our Golf Club. I appreciate that many of you will have other priorities at the moment and will be receiving numerous emails and updates from various organisations with regards to the current health pandemic, however I hope these updates from the golf club are welcomed and that you find them useful and informative.
In this update we would like to address the current state of play at the golf club and also address some of the questions that have been sent in by members seeking clarification.
The support that we have received from our members at such a difficult time has been extraordinary. Not only have so many of our existing members pledged their support by re-joining, we have also welcomed new members to the club who have applied for memberships during the ‘lockdown’ and have paid their fees for the upcoming season. We welcome you all to our club and thank every one of our members for their continued support. At the time of typing this update, we have received almost 90% of our projected membership income, with some payments still pending due to the bank holiday weekend and a couple of technical problems in some members being able to send payment, so we still expect some further renewals of membership in the coming days.
When will we get back on the golf course?
I’m sure you will all be aware of recent speculation that the government are about to ease lockdown restrictions, possibly as early as this week, and that many news outlets and golf magazines report a possibility of the return of golf and some other sports. The Prime Minister has described seeing “sunshine and pastures at the end of this dark tunnel”, while there have be some conflicting suggestions that we may have to wait a bit longer to be able to get back to golf. The truth is, at this time we just cannot answer this question that has been asked by quite a few members, however, we will not be closed any longer than we have to and the course will be ready to go as soon as we have been given authorisation by government and the golfing bodies that govern our sport in Scotland.
In preparation for a return to golfing activity, we have brought back a further member of greens staff from being furloughed in order to assist Sam with the essential maintenance required to prepare our course for golf. I would like to personally thank all members that have volunteered to help on the course to assist Sam and the team. The committee are extremely grateful for the offer and I would appeal for anyone else that wishes to offer their services to assist on the course to get in touch, however unfortunately due to current government advice which effectively bans all non-essential travel, we cannot accept any offers from volunteers until government advice changes.
What will golf look like when it returns?
We must be honest with ourselves that golf will probably not return to normal as we know it for quite some time. We will be guided by the golfing bodies in Scotland as to what measures we put in place and we will naturally keep our members updated with the measures being introduced at our club. The R&A have published guidelines, which are currently listed on their website, as to what may be necessary when golf returns. This includes the removal of certain course ‘furniture’, the amount of people allowed to play a round and other suggested measures to ensure ‘social distancing’.
Can I access the clubhouse just now to retrieve my clubs or other equipment from the locker rooms?
At this current time the clubhouse remains closed to all members of the public. There is a common belief that when golf returns, clubhouses and locker rooms will have to remain closed. If this is the case, the committee will communicate with our members and let them know when the clubhouse and locker rooms will be available in order to retrieve equipment. There will clearly be a limit as to how many people that will be allowed in at any one time and for social distancing to be followed.
What do the committee intend to do with our subscription fees, considering we have already missed peak playing time and the services available will not be what we are used to?
The committee completely appreciate that some may feel a bit short-changed this year for the money that they have paid and the reduction in availability and services from what they are used to. At this time the priority of the committee is to prepare to get people back playing golf and to do it safely. There are of course matters that we must address such as subscription fees, Golf Union fees (for which we have received a partial rebate), bar levy’s, house memberships and locker/trolley storage fees, amongst other things, that will need discussed. This will be done in the near future and we will communicate with our members with transparency during this process. In the meantime, we ask for your patience while we discuss how to progress with these matters and once again we thank you so much for your continued support; without it we would not be in the strong position that we are as a club.
I am hopeful that by next week we will know a bit more as to when we can get back on the course, however we felt that we wanted to update you as soon as possible on our preparations and also address the increasing amount of questions that we are receiving from members. Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you wish to raise anything which has not yet been covered.
Alan Hamilton (Captain)
On behalf of the committee of Bonnybridge Golf Club