Another bumper newsletter this week. I don’t usually use this platform for anything other than club related matters so forgive this lapse, but congrats to all Liverpool supporters. 30 years is a long wait!
Chatting to numerous people this week, it seems the only thing we can be certain of is change. Regulations for the re-opening of beleaguered restaurants finally emerged, with the continued ban of alcohol consumption the major talking point. Limited numbers, stringent cleaning and safety protocols and the added concern over possible infection all managed to put a damper on this much anticipated document. It means very little for golf clubs at present, as additional staffing and cleaning costs would outweigh any possible profits and the lack of alcohol availability would deter many.
Our halfway house continues to provide tasty snacks as a grab and go facility, with chef Deon and the team trying new ideas weekly. This Wednesday, freshly braaied hamburgers were offered outside on the forecourt and were a smash hit! Featuring a 180 gram pure beef burger patty and all the trimmings, Nick and his team were very proud to show this off. I had one for lunch and it was superb!
A big word of thanks to Iain Smith for popping in to do the 100 Club draws. We have 4 months’ worth of winners for you today as follows:
1. G. Walsh
10. V. Beattie
1. G. Tuck
1. L. Balding
1. T. Timlin
Nick Bold and his team have refined the offerings on our alcohol stock list. You can still buy your alcohol from us and avoid queues and crowded bottle stores. Either mail your order to Nick as before at email@example.com pop in and place your order at halfway house and we will assist you right there (subject to availability). Remember that buying from us helps pay staff salaries, so please support the club.
News from W.P. Golf Union
We have been in regular contact with Westlake’s own Robbie Larson at W.P. Golf Union throughout lockdown and beyond. Nothing has been too much trouble and they are really giving back to clubs and assisting in many ways, including passing on our requests and frustrations to GolfRSA. We are very grateful for all they have done and you can read their Covid update here and their news here.
News from Golf RSA
A very topical issue that has raised its head since golf returned, is the issue of selfies on social media and golfers flouting the regulations in these photos. Read Golf RSA’s letter to all in this regard here.
As published last week, wearing of masks on the golf course was relaxed somewhat, which was a great relief to us all. However, we must appeal to all members to remember that this virus remains a life-threatening crisis which could take any one of us, especially those over 60 and suffering from certain underlying conditions. We have seen a number of cases in the past week of masks not being worn in close proximity to other members and even some cases of members sharing a cart (which is currently banned). Please remember that any of us could unknowingly be positive and unwittingly be infecting others by flouting these rules. Kindly follow all guidelines in the interest of everyone’s safety.
Bookings and 1 tee starts vs 2
This is a hot topic at the moment. It has been widely publicised that we are currently only allowed a 1 tee start with 12-minute intervals between 4 balls. We have requested that Golf RSA re-look at this and they will give all clubs feedback nationally by the end of the week. At present we have 112 18-hole slots per day vs 240 under normal conditions. It is no wonder members struggle to get games and we are hugely sympathetic. While we wait, remember that you can still play later in the day and enjoy twilight golf (as many holes as you can fit in before dark) or 9 holes in the late afternoon. In addition, we have opened the 07h20 slot daily, which does help as the sun starts to come up earlier. Hopefully some good news next week…
Remember that our driving range is open daily from 08h00 to 16h30. Bays are much further apart and social distancing must be practiced at all times please. Cost per bucket is R30. We ask members to not handle the golf balls, just the bucket handle. This will lower the risk for staff and members. We will sanitise balls daily and sanitise the buckets after every use. Please make use of this facility as it takes just a few members every day to pay an extra salary. Enjoy your practicing.
Sand scoops and rakes
Please note that the sand scoops have been removed purely for safety reasons. Feel free to bring something along in your golf bag to scoop sand into your sand bag – an empty Energade bottle works very well. Some members have own also bought their own rakes and put them in their golf bags to rake bunkers. This is a very nice idea, so next time you are at the hardware store, consider purchasing a lightweight rake for your own private use in the bunkers. It’s amazing how this pandemic gets us all to think outside the box!
Have a great week and be safe,
David & the amazingly resilient Westlake team