PLAY GOES ON: Warwick Golf Club president Don Stewart and Pro Shop's Sam Eaves will remain on the course until told otherwise.
PLAY GOES ON: Warwick Golf Club president Don Stewart and Pro Shop's Sam Eaves will remain on the course until told otherwise.

Golf given green light to tee up in times of coronavirus

GOLF: It’s been a tumultuous 24-hours for the Warwick Golf Club which was forced to close the course on Tuesday only to be told golfers could play on Wednesday morning.

Amid the ever-changing rules and regulations to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, golf courses across Queensland were closed to comply with government directions on Tuesday.

The club took to Facebook to inform members of the closure, as confusion grew as to the state of play.

“It’s been frantic,” Warwick Golf Club president Don Stewart said.

“The course had to close because we are on the licensed premise of the club house.”

But as Warwick’s golf course, like many across Queensland, halted play, courses across the country remained open.

“All the other states have let their courses remain open,” Stewart said.

“The State Government and Health Department have relented and allowed Queensland golf clubs to use their courses.

“With restrictions and there’s a lot of them.”

Hefty new restrictions will be enforced on golf courses across Australia, including the number of people on the course at any one time, a one kart per person rule, and flag poles are to remain in the hole.

While the restrictions will come as a change for many golfers, Stewart suggested it wouldn’t affect the manner in which games would be conducted.

“There will be no shot gun starts, because everyone tees off and finishes at the same time,” he said.

“Most of our golf is spread throughout the day though, so there is not to be more than 10 people on the course.

“It will be one competition all day, but members will be playing at different intervals throughout the day.”

As a number of sports have come to a halt across the Southern Downs, Stewart admitted the club had begun preparations for life without golf.

“The course had to be maintained, even if there was no golf being played,” he said.

“You lose the quality of the green if it isn’t being maintained to a certain standard.

“We had started working around ways to maintain the course, but we wouldn’t have had the income from people playing.”

With a typically older demographic taking to the rolling greens, the club is confident their high numbers will remain until regulations change.

“We have 302 members here, but all of the golfers are pretty keen to play,” he said.

“A lot of the social players are younger though, and we’re hopeful they’ll end up joining as members further down the track.

“If younger people are looking for something to do other than their own sport, they might like to come up and have a round of golf.”



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