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Forres Golf Club re-opened after two months shut during coronavirus lockdown

By Garry McCartney

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Gilbert Fraser and Bill Tulloch were the first two members to tee off today.
Gilbert Fraser and Bill Tulloch were the first two members to tee off today.

ONE of the area's most popular sports clubs has partly re-opened following more than two months closed due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Forres Golf Club's general manager, Sean Blacklaw, is looking forward to seeing members return to the greens after phase one of the route out of Scotland's coronavirus lockdown started today (Friday, May 29).

He said: "We were absolutely delighted when it was confirmed that the return to our golf course will come in phase 1 of the Government's Covid-19 route map.

"As one of the first sports allowed to resume, we realise that there is a major responsibility on all golf clubs and golfers to ensure our sport is conducted in a safe and responsible manner."

Blacklaw and the club committees and have prepared a protocol for the re-introduction to ensure the safety of golfers and staff during the initial stages of the reopening. This is subject to updated advice from the government, health authorities and our governing body, Scottish Golf.

He said: "Our club has been left with none of our normal income sources from the bar, catering, visitors, open competitions and social events at this time of year.

"Golf is of huge importance to many people in-and-around Forres and indeed across Scotland. It is great to be able to welcome members back so that we can begin to create more amazing experiences and friendships during a very tough time for us all.

"Supporting our club has always been important but more so now than ever, by competing in our open competitions, bringing visitors, using our golf shop, bar and catering facilities, supporting social events, business sponsorship, helping around the course – all of these things will make a difference going forward."

Initially, Forres Golf Club will only be allowing members access to the course.

"We anticipate that the demand for tee times will be extremely high," said Blacklaw. "With this in mind, we want to ensure that there are enough tee times for all our members. Furthermore, to ensure safety, it is important to work with a group who we know well, can identify and can communicate with directly should there be any changes to the protocol or should we encounter a situation where contact tracing may be required."

The committee plan to constantly reviewing the protocol in the hope that they will be able to relax some of the restrictions following the initial phase of reopening.

Blacklaw finished: "We are very much looking forward to inviting visitors to Forres Golf Club again and hope that we can do so in the near future."

The club's protocol agreement is available here

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