Golfers back in the swing as clubs reopen

Golfers got back in the swing across Lancashire today as clubs opened their doors for the first time in three months.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 1:59 pm

Players were teeing off from daybreak, delighted to be freed from the lockdown which has left all sports in limbo since the New Year.

At Preston Golf Club captain Stewart Birchall was the first to tee off in a fourball at 7.30am.

Three hours later he sank a putt on the 18th green and declared: “That was just brilliant. I’m a bit rusty - aren’t we all - but I’m just delighted to be back out on the course.

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Preston Golf Club's captain Stewart Birchall was back on the fairways on Monday morning after three months away from the sport

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“Like all golfers I’ve been practising at home in the garden - even in the living room. I’ve bought a putting matt, although you wouldn’t have thought so with the way I putted today.

“It’s great to see the course really busy today. Everyone has clearly missed it.”

Lady captain Jane Edwards was in the first group of women to tee off this morning.

From left to right, golfers Sue Heaney, Linda Wharton, Christine Taylor, with ladies captain Jane Edwards teeing off

She said: “It’s fantastic to be able to play again and see all our friends. It’s been dreadfully frustrating.

“I last played at the start of January so today couldn’t come soon enough.

“The course is very busy today - it’s been difficult getting a tee time, even for the Lady Captain.”

Sue Heaney, who was also in the first ladies group to tee off, added: “There was no need to stop golf in the first place. It is the safest outdoor sport you can get.

Club captain Stuart Birchall

“It’s been sad to see so many of the older men not being able to meet up at the club like they do every day.

“Those living alone have not known what to do for the past three months. It’s been unnecessary cruelty.

“I last played on January 3. My husband and I even played on Christmas Day just to get a game before things were locked down. “