I know you are frustrated about not being able to use the golf club. I have a different problem – I am here every day but there are no golfers to talk too. It’s as soulless as an empty football stadium.
Lockdown 3 has unsurprisingly felt very similar to the last 2. With the news courses will be closed, there is still a sense of surreal about the whole situation. In a career of working in the industry coming up to you 20 years, the odd day or two of course closure due to weather is a regular occurrence but never have clubhouses and courses been closed for so long as they have now.
Below are some pictures of the clubhouse at Alwoodley, sat waiting for the days the main doors can be re-opened and energy and life can pour back in. Currently it feels like ‘day 25 in the big brother house’ for those that can remember that far back! Regular checks are carried out around the building to make sure everything is as it should be and we’re fortunate enough to have residential tenants on site, who kindly keep their eyes open for us.
Whilst this has been a great opportunity to ‘plan in peace’ for the year ahead and any possible contingencies that need to be in place, the most exciting point of the day is often watching a local delivery driver come through the gates with parcels to drop off. Remember Castaway on the desert island? You’ve never seen a club manager move so quickly down to the back door to say hello – oh for the days of people back in the clubhouse! Normally, I relish half an hour between knocks on the door as a chance to get something done but I promise that I never will again!
The snow of January made for a nice change of scene and gave golfers the comforting feeling that even if we weren’t in a lockdown, golf couldn’t be played. Pictures of your home club in the snow always look fantastic, especially in the sun!
Despite the lockdown, Alwoodley have currently kept all their greenkeepers working to continue with the various winter projects we had lined up. These included:
- Renovation of the 5th & 7th bunkers inline with Alistair Mackenzie’s original design
- Practice areas
- Green’s work
- Clearing of woodland behind the 6th green
Alwoodley have a big year ahead with events including, The Open Qualifying, The European Ladies Championship & The Yorkshire Amateur Championship. We’re hoping all of these events can take place throughout the summer season without any disruption however we are ready to adjust if needed. More on these events in future correspondence from the club and myself.
Like all clubs, we don’t know when we will be back operating again, and we wait in anticipation of Boris’s announcement on the 22nd February in hope that a return to golf will be before early Spring. All we can do is be patient and keep going with faith that a return to brighter times isn’t too far away.
I’m sure I speak on behalf of most club managers when I say that I’m missing members around the place and look forward to seeing them back soon. In the meantime, it’s golf on the tv, swing tips on YouTube and maybe a bit of time surfing some great golf websites, dreaming of being back on the course in the near future.
All the best,
Alwoodley Golf Club