More tee-time frustration for golfers across Lancashire

Golfers across Lancashire had hoped for a speedier return to the fairways.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 3:45 pm

But the earliest they will be teeing off is March 29 after Boris Johnson announced his roadmap out of Covid lockdown on Monday.

“I think as an industry we are a little bit disappointed,” Mark Bardsley, secretary of the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs, told the Post.

“We would have preferred it to have been earlier, but at least we now have a date to work to.”

Golfers will have to wait until March 29 to tee off.

Clubs have been shut down since the start of England’s third lockdown on January 5. They also endured a two-month Covid closure last spring which also hit the sport hard.

Nationally, England Golf said it was “extremely disappointed” that the sport would have to wait for another month after scientific evidence it presented to the Government that the sport could be played in a Covid-secure manner was knocked into the long grass by the Prime Minister and his advisors.

Mark Bardsley, based at Ashton and Lea Golf Club in Preston, said: “At least we have got a date to work towards and clubs can start planning for that.

“Some clubs have found it very difficult. Even prior to the pandemic there were a proportion of clubs who were having to run things tightly in terms of finance.

Ashton and Lea Golf Club in Preston.

“People were hoping they would be able to get back on the 8th (March). But that isn’t the case so we will have to aim at the 29th and hope that date isn’t put back.

“We feel golf is part of the solution, not the problem. You’ve got people outdoors in the fresh air, socially distanced and exercising.

“We saw a bit of a bounce back after the first lockdown in terms of membership. Overall we saw an increase across the country. Now we are hoping in 2021 those new members will continue their membership.”